The countdown to 2013 has begun.
In Scranton, the annual downtown New Year’s Eve party, called First Night, is set for Monday.
Many folks have already flocked to the Electric City, staying at area hotels.
The Gress family came in from Georgia and is staying at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center.
All they can think about is snow.
“In town for the holidays, visiting family, visiting my grandmother and the children’s great grandmother,” said dad, Ronnie Gress. “So we’re going to try to do some more sleigh riding just as the time comes on, we’re going to be here through Sunday, Monday.”
“Reservations are picking up, for New Year’s Eve as well,” said Angel Hydrick at the Hilton. “We do have a limited menu downstairs in our Casey’s Restaurant.”
Rooms are also being grabbed up at the nearby Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.
“New Year’s Eve is booking up nicely. Saturday’s actually shaping up to be an early New Year’s Eve for us, I think people are splitting the holiday,” said Kurt Gockley at the Radisson.
While in town, there’s plenty to do.
At Kildare’s Irish Pub, the staff is preparing for their own New Year’s Eve party, but things are planned for the weekend as well.
“We’ll be showing all the college bowl games over the weekend, the NFL games on Sunday too, and then for the later night, we actually have DJs tonight and tomorrow,” said Simon Hewson, Kildare’s general manager.
Robert Burns brought his family in from Toronto and said celebrating the New Year is important.
“Forget about all the past and look to the future,” said Burns.
If you’re looking for a place of fine dining, Carl Von Luger’s is the place to be.
For Douglas Jones and his family, they came in from Tennessee and made the restaurant their first stop.
“Our son, who is a wonderful child, said ‘I love gramps, and Christmas is great, but I have to go to the steakhouse, we’re going to the steakhouse right?’” laughed Jones.
Scranton’s first night festivities kick off on Lackawanna Avenue at 6:30 Monday night with the fireworks display taking place at midnight.