New Year’s revolution: Countdown to 2015 coming to Coney Island

Here’s the bling: New, brighter lights for Parachute Jump
Razzle dazzle: The new Parachute Jump lights can shimmer, pulse, and even appear to dance. The Coney icon dazzled when it was lit on June 21.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Champagne, a midnight kiss, and a … Nathan’s hot dog?

The Coney Island Boardwalk will host a massive New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31, Borough President Adams announced on Dec. 18, and he promised the party would have many happy returns.

“We are starting a Brooklyn tradition,” Adams said in front of the iconic Parachute Jump, which will be the centerpiece of the festivities.

Reports in less perceptive publications have said that the Coney shindig will center around a ball-drop like the over-hyped one across the East River, but that is false. Brooklyn will count down to the new year with a pulsing light show using the Parachute Jump’s dazzling new $2-million lighting system that switched on last year.

Adams touted the seaside celebration as the more authentic way for New Yorkers to ring in the new year.

“Why go to Manhattan and be squashed by tourists when you can come to the county of Kings and be treated like royalty?” said Adams. “Real Brooklynites like to be here in Coney Island. Times Square is for a few people, but Coney Island is for everyone.”

The crowds aren’t the only thing that will be better in the People’s Playground, the local councilman said.

“Times Square has confetti, but we’ve got the fireworks — real fireworks,” said Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island).

Boardwalk revelers can also catch music, performances, and sip a little (non-alcoholic) bubbly during the celebration, Adams said. But Boardwalk bars like Tom’s of Coney Island and Ruby’s will also be open and slinging their higher-octane libations, owners said.

A DJ will handle kicking-out-the-jams duties this year, but the Borough President said starting next year he’ll hold an annual competition to select live performers to feature at future New Year’s bashes. And the freaks will certainly be out on Dec. 31.

“In true Coney Island fashion, we will have sideshow performers,” said Johanna Zaki, director of the Alliance for Coney Island.

One community leader said the celebration heralds the People’s Playground’s ongoing resurgence.

“This has been five years in the making,” said Eddie Mark, a member of Community Board 13 who advocated for the party. “The new regime — Eric Adams and Mark Treyger — is saying, ‘Coney Island is ready for a change.’ This is a sign of major things happening in the neighborhood.”

A staffer for Adams said the celebration could become an economic engine in the waterfront area’s slower, cold-weather months.

“You could see people, in future years, coming here for New Year’s and staying the night for the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day,” said Borough Hall communications director Stefan Ringel.

The Brooklyn pride was palpable at last Thursday’s announcement, and the man famed for running on the Boardwalk in weather fair or foul for thousands of consecutive days best summed up the general mood.

“F— Times Square,” said perennial Boardwalk jogger Gary Atlas.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Counting up: Borough President Adams says the New Year’s countdown on Coney Island’s Parachute Jump will be a new annual tradition.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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