Curious Richmond residents gather in Carytown for New Year's Eve

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond residents make the best of New Year's Eve. Some dropped by Carytown to see if a giant ball would rise above The Byrd Theater.

Fan resident Rob Mireles boarded a free shuttle for a night of bar hopping with his closest friends to ring in the new year. Their destination is in the shuttle company's name - "To The Bottom And Back."

"I did not want to drink and drive tonight. I want to go out and have fun, and this is the best way to do it without getting in trouble," said Mireles.

"You've got to be careful and that's if we were to drink, we would have taken a cab," said Ashton Long.

That's exactly what police want to hear as they rove the streets looking for drunk drivers. Gray Marshall caught a ride to the north side for a New Year's Eve bash.

"We're staying there all night," said Marshall.

Others kept it more low key.

"We wanted to do something classic, so we decided to come and see a movie at the Byrd Theater," said Laura French.

The same theater where in years' past, a giant ball would ascend above Carytown. This year's event was canceled.

"There is nobody; it's dead," said Marshall.

"We've got a lot of people coming up to Carytown hoping something's going to happen," said Jim Porter, a former cab driver who owns "To The Bottom and Back" shuttle service.

Tom Taveggia was going to close up early until he saw activity atop the Byrd earlier Thursday. It was surprising to him. But with a fully stocked kitchen and bar, the owner of "Double T's Barbecue" stayed open until midnight to see if a curious and hungry crowd would stop by.

"We're ready for whoever comes in," said Taveggia.

So were Richmond police. Late Thursday night, they repositioned their mobile surveillance equipment brought in earlier for a better view. The General Manager of The Byrd declined to comment.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.