Demi Lovato will headline the New Year’s Eve bash at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. (Reuters file photo)
Like any big party, it’s best to prepare.
A safe guess of 20,000 people are expected to pack Queen Victoria Park on New Year’s Eve for the annual free outdoor concert, but the added star power of this year’s lineup have some officials estimating 30,000 or even 40,000 showing up.
Sam Roberts, Serena Ryder and headliner Demi Lovato are scheduled to perform, starting at 8 p.m. Which is when the Niagara Parkway and most of Murray Hill becomes a massive logjam.
“I would recommend not parking too close to the event,” said Brian Ash, a casino district staff sergeant with the Niagara Regional Police.
“The challenge for us is safety and traffic issues, with having so many pedestrians.”
Murray Hill is expected to be closed early in the evening, while the Niagara Parkway from Clifton Hill to Table Rock will be closed as the crowd swells, likely just before show time.
After the show, the northbound section of Stanley Ave. near Robinson St. will also be diverted south as crowds make their way back to their cars. All roads are expected to reopen at about 1 a.m.
Ash said about 50 officers will work the area for New Year’s Eve, to go along with a large Niagara Parks Police contingent.
“We have as many officers as possible on foot patrol so we can be in amongst the crowd,” he said. “Obviously, getting there by vehicle isn’t going to be possible in some cases.”
Niagara Parks is recommending pedestrians walk north towards the Clock Tower, past the TD Rink at the Brink, and along the lit pathway towards the concert stage.
The live telecast on Global starts at 10 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 8:45 p.m. and midnight.
Despite the crowd, Ash said the New Year’s Eve concert has been problem-free virtually since it began 22 years ago.
“It’s pretty much always been family-friendly,” he said. “We’ve had very little that I’d consider to be serious in nature. But of course we always prepare.
“Obviously, with a mass like that you’ll have a fight here and there, somebody who’s had too much to drink, but nothing we’d consider a serious event.”
WEGO buses will be running every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Most routes will include stops at Clifton Hill.
As always the show is alcohol-free, though there will be a licensed area within the park where drinks are served.
Niagara Parks Police Chief Carl Scott said this allows officers to contain the area, and discourages people from bringing their own booze. It’s a huge reason the show is a fun night for both concert-goers and officers.
“We have very few problems … they’re there to enjoy themselves,” he said. “It really is one of those feel-good events.”
IF YOU GO
Rapidsview lot: $10, Wego service to Table Rock
BIA districts: Wego runs until 3:30 a.m.
Murray Hill: Eastbound at 3 p.m., westbound around 7:30 or 8 p.m.
River Road: Between Clifton Hill and Fraser Hill at 8 p.m.
Identify family meeting spot in advance in case members split.
Licensed area in park.
Originally posted 2013-12-31 17:56:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter