Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill to ring in 2024 with annual ball drop celebration

City hosting New Year’s Eve ball drop with live band, countdown and fireworks
Deputy+Mayor+Patricia+Riley%2C+Sepp+Spenlinhauer%2C+Mayor+Vivian+McKenzie%2C+Andrew+Proschel+of+Vivid+RGB+Lighting+and+Peekskill+DPW+crew%3A+Dan+Soto+%26+Jermaine+Sessions+is+in+the+cherry+picker%2Csetting+up+the+New+Years+Eve+Ball+on+Thursday%2C+December+21+2023.+Photo+credit%3A+Brian+Fassett
Deputy Mayor Patricia Riley, Sepp Spenlinhauer, Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Andrew Proschel of Vivid RGB Lighting and Peekskill DPW crew: Dan Soto & Jermaine Sessions is in the cherry picker,setting up the New Year’s Eve Ball on Thursday, December 21 2023. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

Peekskill knows how to party! On New Year’s Eve, hundreds will bring their party top hats, fancy headbands, noise makers, and party glasses as they gather by the gazebo to ring in the new year.

The annual City of Peekskill New Years Eve Ball Drop will once again be held in downtown Peekskill on December 31st 2023 beginning at 10pm. Party revelers will be rockin’ out, dancing and singing out loud as HERE24 perform past and present day hits from Billie Eilish, Janis Joplin, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Def Leppard, and Paramore just to name a few. Five minutes before midnight, the crowd will begin to turn their attention to the 40-foot pole behind the showmobile where atop that pole sits a glimmering six foot in diameter glistening shining New Years Eve Ball composed of 648 points of LED lighting. As the crowd counts down from ten, the ball will be lowered, and at the stroke of midnight Peekskill will loudly cheer and say “Happy New Year!“ As Auld Lang Syne begins, the crowd will be delighted as fireworks light up the night sky.

As in years past, the highlight of the evening is the one-of-a-kind, extremely colorful, Peekskill New Year’s Eve Ball. As Councilman Brian Fassett, co-owner of Vivid RGB Lighting with his husband Sepp Spenlinhauer, explains, “the ball is six feet in diameter and has an aluminum structure and a rigging apparatus that were built by Highland Welding Services on Highland Avenue in Peekskill. It was first used in 2015 [the first ever Peekskill ball drop] and had incandescent Christmas lights on it. It was lowered by a crane during that year’s festivities and again in 2016. In 2017, it was moved to the flag pole and still had incandescent lighting.” 

Fassett and Sepp own a lighting company that fabricates color changing LED lighting, and working with the City of Peekskill, they donated the lighting for the 2018 festivities via their company, Vivid RGB Lighting. Brian and Sepp wanted to give Peekskill something unique. Fassett explained that in 2018, “Vivid RGB Lighting designed, fabricated, installed, and programmed Chip6 LED product for the ball. In that year, there were 189 Chip6 LED panels on the ball.” That ball looked great.

They knew it could look better and be more extravagant. So last year, the ball was overhauled and redesigned. Fassett says, “last year Vivid RGB Lighting upgraded the Peekskill New Years Eve Ball using a new product called Chip6X.” Vivid RGB Lighting added over 459 more points of light. “The ball now has 648 points of light, making it even more impressive” says Fassett. Admirers of the ball cannot help but stop in their tracks and become mesmerized. The ball sparkles even more than the Times Square Ball as it transforms from one design and color to the next. This is in part due to the programming of Sepp Spenlinhauer. Brian explains, “over the course of 40 hours, Sepp painstakingly programmed the ball, the shapes and colors of the ball so that it will glow 24 hours a day 7 days out of the week until its big countdown.”

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  • Deputy Mayor Patricia Riley, Sepp Spenlinhauer, Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Councilman Brian Fassett. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • Deputy Mayor Patricia Riley, Sepp Spenlinhauer, Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Andrew Proschel of Vivid RGB Lighting and Peekskill DPW crew: Dan Soto & Jermaine Sessions is in the cherry picker,setting up the New Year’s Eve Ball on Thursday, December 21 2023. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • Deputy Mayor Patricia Riley, Mark Fetzer, Mayor Vivian McKenzie. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • DPW Workers installing the NYE Ball. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • DPW Workers and Sepp Spenlinhauer of Vivid RGB Lighting installing the NYE Ball. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • Sepp Spenlinhauer of Vivid RGB Lighting. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • The upgraded Peekskill NYE Ball. Photo credit: Brian Fassett

  • The upgraded Peekskill NYE Ball. Over 648 points of LED lighting. Photo credit: Dave Mueller

  • The upgraded Peekskill NYE Ball. Over 648 points of LED lighting. Photo credit: Dave Mueller

  • The upgraded Peekskill NYE Ball. Over 648 points of LED lighting. Photo credit: Dave Mueller

  • The upgraded Peekskill NYE Ball. Over 648 points of LED lighting. Photo credit: Dave Mueller

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On December 21st, Brian, Sepp, and the Peekskill DPW met at the flagpole in Jan Peek Square where under the guidance of Greg Rich of the city’s department of public works, the ball was hoisted safely to the top of the pole where the ball currently stands aglow. Folks can enjoy the New Years Eve Ball not only on New Years Eve, but anytime of the day as it will be illuminated until New Year’s Day and maybe even a few days afterward.

Sepp and Brian also take great pride in decorating the Peekskill Evening Star Building every year for the holidays.  This year they decorated the windows with a stunning 7 foot tree with over 2,400 lights on it and a snowman holding a sunflower. The sunflower has been on display ever since Russia invaded Ukraine. It is a gentle reminder that there is still a war for freedom and democracy occurring throughout the world and in Europe. In addition, the Westchester Winter Wonderland at the Kensico Damn is also a project of Sepp and Brians. Under another one of their design firms, “Eclectic Precision” Sepp and Brian designed the Winter Wonderland  Experience for all of Westchester to love and experience.  Both Vivid RGB Lighting, a product development company, and Eclectic Precision, a lighting design/experience company are Peekskill based companies.

 


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About the Contributor
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]