New Year's Eve in downtown Grand Rapids just keeps getting bigger every year.
40,000 revelers packed Monroe St. for the HOT FM outdoor concert featuring The Romantics. There wasn't a single seat available for last minute dinner reservations and every bar was pretty much packed to the gills. This is definitely no longer the sleepy town it used to be.
My wife and I had great intentions of hitting our regular spots before ending up at the JW Marriott. Reserve Wine Bar
was on the list. So as Bar Divani and Lumber Baron. But by the time we got downtown at 10:30PM, we decided to settle with glasses of champagne in Mixology Lounge at the JW with some friends while the Steve Hilger band serenaded the sophisticated crowd to some bossa nova.
By 11:30PM, our party of 4 increased by 10 more with the addition of other close friends who were in six.one.six for dinner. As the ball dropped on Times Square, we were up in the International Ballroom of the hotel, along with 1,000 other guests for the always rocking Retro Party.
Digital Joes kept the dance floor packed as the city celebrated another momentous year. As for me, I couldn't imagine spending New Year's Eve anywhere else but right here in Grand Rapids.