New Year's Eve: Worst Snow Day Ever

City cancels celebration after learning New Year's is in winter

Did we keep the receipts for the fireworks? City corporate special events manager William Manno sadly explains that the city postpones its New Year's Eve celebrations.
Did we keep the receipts for the fireworks? City corporate special events manager William Manno sadly explains that the city postpones its New Year's Eve celebrations. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

It almost seems redundant to say, but someone explain to the City of Austin that you don't get to reschedule New Year's Eve.

Yes, as has become the national joke, Austin's city management became the Grinch that Stole Hogmanay. The annual New Year's Eve celebrations will no longer be on New Year's Eve, due to inclement weather. A new date will be set, hopefully to be announced in the next two weeks. Lucky thing it's no longer called First Night: After all, 38th Or So Night just doesn't have the same ring.

The announcement came yesterday, courtesy of Corporate Special Events Manager William Manno. He explained, “This decision was made for the safety and comfort of the entire Austin community."

The press conference was supposed to preview what the city promised would be a "family-friendly celebration featuring the best of Austin arts, music, food and culture." Specifically, it would feature a performance by DJ! Dub Academy and Soul Sessions Breakdancers, plus an "interactive hologram" created by Asleep At the Wheel vocalist Elizabeth McQueen." Instead, it was Manno explaining exactly why the forecast for bad weather was enough to shut the whole affair down.

On the positive side, our Playback columnist Kevin Curtin said he has been informed by a representative for one band that the city will be paying the booked bands.

So, yes, in order, here are the glaringly obvious questions that we're all asking right now:

• What city announces the details of its New Year's celebration the day before New Year's Eve? Specifically, 27 1/2 hours before the celebration would normally kick off?

• Will the event be rescheduled for another New Year? May we suggest Feb. 19, which would cover the Vietnamese Tết Nguyên Đán, Chinese New Year, and the Tibetan Losar? Or we could all hang on until Oct. 13, to coincide with the first day of Muharram? How's about a nod to pre-Tsarist Russia by going with Sept. 1?

• What happened to the backup venue? The notification for the press conference promised details of "inclement weather plans", but were those plans really just "eh, no"?

• Is the city of Austin unaware that New Year's Eve is in the middle of winter, and so may be chilly?

This sends the same frosty chills up the back as when the Texas capital (and one of the US' most vibrant economies) ground to halt for nearly two weeks due to a tiny bit of ice. This time, Austin has become a punchline as far away as Oregon. Still on that positive side, as Mashable's writers put it, "Clearly, Austin will have more time to work on those resolutions."

And, yes, there are still plenty of other non-city events going on: Check out our New Year's Guide for some last minute suggestions.

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