The Frigid Temperatures Are Not Stopping New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Pottsville

POTTSVILLE -- Though many counties have canceled New Year’s Eve Celebrations due to the cold, Pottsville was an exception.

A crowd was slow to gather in Garfield Square.  After all, it was brutally cold and windy.

Some changes have been made due to the frigid temperatures.

The DJ normally plays for a few hours but will only be out for about 45 minutes before they raise the beer bottle.

Eventually, spectators did show up. The attraction, sending a big Yuengling Lager bottle up a flagpole to signal the start of the new year.

This was a New Year's celebration where it paid to be ready, where you needed something warm.

"I have two layers, coats, two layers of pants on, two pairs of socks. Nice and warm," said vendor Wayne Robbins.

And his souvenir sales did pick up as midnight approached.

Temperatures leading up to the midnight bottle raising were in the single digits. The wind chill factor was below zero, so the people who came out here came prepared.

Pottsville raises a giant Yuengling Lager bottle because this is where the beer is brewed. The bottle goes up, rather than down because you raise a toast. You don't drop it.

Councilman Mark Atkinson was perhaps the most important person here. He handled the crank that sends the bottle up the pole.

He said, "It's exciting. It's exciting because I just crank it and somebody yells out the countdown and I'm able to keep up with that."

Councilman Atkinson delivered another perfect performance. The bottle hit the top just as the clock struck 12 a.m.

While this year's party in Garfield Square might have been shorter than year's past and with fewer people because of the heavy duty cold, there are no regrets.

"[Never a thought in your mind that you would cancel this?] Absolutely not," said Pottsville Mayor James Muldowney.

The crowd scattered shortly after the bottle hit the top to continue celebrating the arrival of 2018 in warmer places.