Winchester’s New Year’s Eve celebration has been around for more than three decades.
“First Night Winchester started in 1987 officially. I received a letter in 1986 from an organization called First Night Leesburg,” said First Night emeritus Kathy Nerangis.
After meeting with the First Night Leesburg committee and seeing what the event entailed, Kathy decided to bring the idea to Winchester.
There are several events and performers throughout the day, but the main event is the big midnight apple drop that started about 20 years ago. Over the years, the concept of the apple has transformed.
“It was a big ball made out of tin foil and we had lights on it, like Christmas lights,” said Nerangis.
Now it’s a 400 pound steel apple that’s suspended 125 feet into the air. At around 4 o’clock on New Year’s Eve, they bring a crane to the corner of Cameron street and Boscawen street and hoist it into the air.
The apple has about 25-hundred LED lights that turn the downtown sky red. The apple drop is joined with a firework show to ring in the new year.