TUPELO • The city will ring in its 150th year with a New Year’s Eve party downtown complete with live music, dancing, fireworks, a car giveaway and a ball drop.

Plans for the Tuesday, Dec. 31 event were announced Monday morning during a news conference at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“This is the beginning of a fantastic tradition right here in downtown Tupelo,” Mayor Jason Shelton said. “This is something we’ve been working towards for several years.”

The New Year’s party also serves as the first event of Tupelo’s year-long Sesquicentennial celebration in 2020.

The celebration will start with children’s activities hosted by Bank Plus between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at Fairpark. Also, BancorpSouth Arena will be open for ice skating between 1 and 9 p.m.

Music entertainment will be a combination of DJs and live bands playing tunes to dance and sing to from two stages – one in Fairpark and the other on the corner of Broadway and Main streets.

The Main/Broadway stage starts at 8:15 p.m. with DJ Keith de Soul Explosion, followed by The Band U.S., playing songs from the 1980s, at 10:15. On the Fairpark stage, rhythm and blues group G3 Show Band begin their set at 9 p.m., followed by another cover band, Black Jacket Symphony, at 11.

“It will be a night where you can sing along to every song all night long,” said Neal McCoy, executive director of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re going to see downtown Tupelo on New Year’s Eve as vibrant and exciting as it’s ever been.”

At the stroke of midnight, a sphere built by presenting sponsor Century Construction will drop with a fireworks show in the background.

Shortly after the ball drop, a 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE will be given away by the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association to celebrate Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday. Raffle tickets may be purchased for $50 until 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31 to enter the drawing to win the car provided by Toyota Mississippi and Carlock Toyota of Tupelo. Tickets may be purchased at the Downtown Tupelo Main Street office or on the grounds of the New Year’s Eve event.

“We’re going to have a fun, safe, family-friendly environment,” Shelton said. “This will be something for everyone. It’s for everybody in the city of Tupelo.”

In addition to presenting sponsor Century Construction, premiere sponsors are Bank Plus and Ross and Yerger. Promotional sponsors include Mitchell Distributing, iHeart Radio, WTVA and Mississippi Radio Group.

More information on New Year’s activities and the car giveaway can be found at www.tupelo.net/NewYear.

bobby.pepper@journalinc.com

Twitter: @bobbypepper30

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