THROWBACK: The 1982 Yellow Springs New Year’s Eve ball drop was one for the ages

New Years Eve in Yellow Springs 1983. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE
New Years Eve in Yellow Springs 1983. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

The celebration won’t happen this year, but the party 38 years ago filled the streets

This New Year’s Eve, we won’t revel in quite the same way — but the occasion does call for a look back at one of the area’s earliest parties.

The Yellow Springs New Year’s Eve celebration began as 1980 rolled into 1981.

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Village resident Prentice Tomas organized the Times Square Yellow Springs Committee to provide a safe way for residents to celebrate the new year together.

Although the inaugural celebration didn’t have an official ball drop, someone kicked a silver beach ball off the downtown movie theater marquee to mark the event.

Two years later, a thousand or so people filled the streets of Yellow Springs at midnight to welcome in 1983.

A highlight of the celebration was a tall, dark and mustached man dressed as Baby New Year.

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Wearing a Happy New Year crown on his head, a 1983 sash across his chest and a diaper pinned around his waist, the giant baby was cheered as he stood above the crowd.

Hats and fists were raised in the air as a sparkling ball illuminated with ’83 was lowered from a tree trimming ladder truck.

The Dayton Daily News front page on Jan. 1 1983. The front page story was about the New Year's Eve celebration in Yellow Springs.
The Dayton Daily News front page on Jan. 1 1983. The front page story was about the New Year's Eve celebration in Yellow Springs.

Village residents who took part in the fun “hugged, kissed, shouted and laughed as they shared bubbly and good wishes,” reported the Dayton Daily News.

“It’s going to be a bumper year,” proclaimed the Baby New Year, as hundreds of balloons and confetti flew and champagne corks popped.

This year’s New Year’s ball drop in Yellow Springs has been cancelled due to the state-wide curfew and restrictions in response to the pandemic.

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