Courier file photo
New Year's Eve partiers blanket Montezuma Street and Whiskey Row at the Boot Drop. This year's event is the seventh annual.
Originally published Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 10:57p.m.
Watch carefully, when that boot on top of the Palace Saloon and Jersey Lilly Saloon drops for the second time Sunday, it will be 2018.
The seventh year of the annual Whiskey Row Boot Drop, M&M Entertainment & Productions co-founder Marco Espitia said he enjoys being a part of the Western heritage that he and co-founder Matt Brassard try to keep going year after year.
“It’s kind of like a mini-New York,” Espitia said of Whiskey Row during the event. “Instead of dropping the crystal ball, we drop the boot. I think it’s a great, safe place for families to come and ring in the New Year.”
Held from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, and into Monday, Jan. 1, on Whiskey Row, there will be two drops again this year – one at 10 p.m. to coincide with the drop of the ball in Times Square and again at midnight.
This year, Chino Valley resident and “The X-Factor” participant Drew Ryniewicz will perform after the first drop, Espitia said. Those who don’t want to be out too late can come for the early drop, watch her perform and see the real drop at midnight on TV.
Ryniewicz isn’t the only new aspect to this year’s Whiskey Row Boot Drop, according to Brassard. Last year, the Ferris Wheel was an awesome addition and the company that brought it will have some carnival games, he said. Prescott Pete’s Shooting Gallery will have a presence too.
They’ve wanted the shooting gallery for the past few years, but it didn’t work out until this year, he said. It gives people something else for them to do and enjoy while waiting for the boot to drop. “(It) kind of goes with the theme of western cowboy boot,” he said. “We just continue to try to grow a little bit year after year.”
Brought to its current position on the roof of the Palace and Jersey Lilly on Thursday morning, Dec. 28, the boot has more than 1,000 LED lights and can flash all kinds of different ways thanks to a remote, Brassard said. It was created six years ago by Stephan Markov of Morgan Signs, according to a news release.
The Whiskey Row Boot Drop takes months and months of planning to get all the vendors and fireworks set up and making sure they have the support of local businesses to keep the event free, he said. It’s all worth it for him and Espitia to see families enjoying themselves.
“It’s become a family tradition for a lot in Prescott,” he said. “We want to see it continue on and continue on in the right way, keep it family friendly and hometown kind of feel and not commercialized.”