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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Harrow community celebrates New Year’s

by Garrett Fodor

The Harrow & Colchester South Chamber of Commerce continued its tradition of hosting a unique New Year’s Eve event for families and individuals of all ages in the community to enjoy as a way to wrap up another year. 

  On December 31, the Harrow & Colchester South Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Despite the rain showers throughout the day, weather cleared up just in time for the festivities to begin and did not dampen any spirits.

  With ice skating, face-painting, photo booths, clowns, free hot-dogs and hot chocolate, and ball hockey, there was something for everyone to enjoy. This year was the 3rd time the event was held at the Harrow Arena.

  The event ran from 6 p.m. until it was capped off with its very own ball being dropped and fireworks going off together at 9 p.m. The ball was designed and fabricated by REFAC Industrial Contractors, who came up with the idea two years ago. The ball, draped in LED lights and streamers, is continuing to evolve and improve year-after-year.

  Erich Keller is President and owner of REFAC. He said the idea for the ball came up two years ago at a Christmas dinner discussion with his daughter, Heidi Hamlin, and son, Ric Keller. He said it was something that made Harrow special and gave something for the kids and families to look forward to at the end of the celebration. He added it was a group effort between planning its design and fabricating it, and estimated it took over 50 hours to create. He said they were very grateful to be able to help celebrate and be involved in the community.

  Dennis McLean has volunteered with the event for four years, and was the chairperson this year. He says this event is special for the community and believes it shows what Harrow is all about.

  “The event is arranged by the Chamber of Commerce and it is designed to be family oriented,” McLean said. “We arrange this event, but it is also local businesses that make it all possible and donate supplies and products, like REFAC, who donated the ball for tonight. It could not be possible without the generous support we receive.”

  Hamlin and McLean both said this type of event is great for the community as it is part of the allure and overall community of Harrow.

  McLean added he estimated nearly 500 people were in attendance for the celebration, with participation growing each year. 

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