Dec 29, 2011 8:26 PM by Andy Koen

Missing the party

Dozens of local organizations are preparing for New Years Eve celebrations, but this year in Colorado Springs there isn't a sole event aimed at bringing the community together.

Gazette Arts and Entertainment Editor Warren Epstein calls the celebrations this year "scattered."

"We have the one event that people can participate in watching, but not really participate in a drinking an partying, and that's AdAmAn," Epstein said.

He points out that there are plenty of places to celebrate. For example, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is taking patrons Cruising the Nightlife with food, decor and dancing designed to  resemble celebrations from a handful of spots around the world. Organizer Charles Prignano, who also goes by Major Mandolin, is hosting a Gala New Years Eve Ball at the Marriott Hotel and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has planned an evening with Three Rocky Mountain Tenors. For families with young children, the Millibo Art Theatre promises "belly laughs glaore" with a special New Years Eve performance by Art Guffaw.

But in a city this diverse, the biggest problem seems to be getting everyone together.

"Making something happen together in one spot on New Years is difficult to do," said local event organizer John O'Donnell who has put on dozens of large-scale community events, including the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and the In Their Honor Air Show.

He says the biggest setbacks in planning any event are time and money.

"The money's not there like it was 4 or 5 years ago," O'Donnell said.

He estimates it would take over $100,000 and as much as a year of planning to put on a good New Year's Eve bash. He also says any group that takes on that responsibility should committed to grow the event year after year.

"It takes a group a long term committment to build an event," O'Donnell said.

For now, the community's one unique New Year's tradition promises to go off without a hitch. The AdAmAn hikers will begin their annual ascent of Pikes Peak Friday to ring in the New Year with fireworks from the summit.


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