Downtown plans for New Year’s Eve

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Submitted: Fri, 12/30/2011 - 10:22pm
Updated: Sun, 01/01/2012 - 8:32pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– It’s no Times Square but downtown Wilmington is always a popular spot to ring in the New Year. Question is, can revelers keep themselves under control and will the cops be ready for them if they can’t?

“Historically here in Wilmington on New Year’s Eve we actually have less drunk driving than what I think we may have on a (random) weekend,” says Sgt. Mike Donelson of the Wilmington Police Department.”Hopefully it stays that way.”

Police say that this year they will not be setting up a major checkpoint with the “batmobile”. Instead they will be using, what they call, saturation patrols where they ride around looking for violators.

“If your going to drink please call a cab, get a designated driver, or just stay home. It’s just not worth it,” says Sgt. Donelson.

Businesses say that along with the normal crowd will also be 300 Canadian soldiers form Camp Lejeune. For the most part, this increased off duty military presence does not have businesses we talked with worried.

“You mix 4 marine guys and 4 college guys and you’re going to get the same outcome, young guys that are ready to get wild,” says downtown business owner Hunter Ford. “So you have that element of it but generally I think that everyone is in good order. There’s enough police presence down here.”

Businesses say that one major issue could be trying to hail a cab because of the number of people out and about.

Police say designating a sober driver should be part of your New Year’s Eve plans.


  • greenie says:

    Personally, I get pretty offended whenever I read about “Marines” causing trouble in our pristine, sober, and exceptionally safe downtown bar scene. First of all, a title, a race, a religion, a sexual preference, or a job does not catagorize a majority of persons in that group to have specific characteristics. That would be the discrimination and predjudice that we do not tolerate in today’s society.

  • guesty says:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, you indeed do have a duck.

    Unfortunately a few Marines have given all Marines a bad name, as the same with college students. A few idiots can ruin the name of many good people. The same thing happens with police when a bad officer surfaces, all officers suffer because of it.

  • Guest 4545 says:

    There are 52 weekends in the year, more times than not it is the “local talent” creating problems in downtown Wilmington. Personally I would rather get “crazy” with the USMC or the Canadian military than party with the misfits creating the problems the other 51 weekends of the year.

  • greenie says:

    Oops, your ignorance is showing!!! Statistically, if you figure how many Marines are arrested each year in Wilmington (regardless of color/race/creed), it would be far less than the local population (regardless of color/race/creed) per capita. As a former Marine, who has travelled 3/4ths of the way around this world in several conflicts, I can tell you that the necessary military appearance intimidates and sometimes inflames native populations. Trained and disciplined fighters become easy scapegoats when altercations happen. Locals tend to pardon the tattoed, long haired, rowdy townies. Also apparent to me is the high population of former military in Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Government, and Hospital staff.

    It runs deep enough that Marines and former Marines take the same offense as if you were calling the culprits “black,” “islamic,” “gay,” or “yankees.” You have no right to catagorize any people in this situation by any criteria other than “lawbreaker” and “non-lawbreaker.” The world would be a better place if we all could see past race, color, creed, sexual preference, and Marine/non Marine. Embrace diversity, show respect, and grow your mind.

  • guesty says:

    It actually is your ignorance that is flowing, greenie. Where did I make a racist statement? Lay off the cappuccino and slowly read all the words I posted. You will see that I said due to a few Marines, all Marines now have a bad name. The same with college students and police officers. I didn’t know that Marine, college or police were considered races.

    Embrace diversity? No thank you. Just because it is your right to put feathers in your rear end, cover yourself with lard and howl at the moon, doesn’t mean I have to accept it as normal.

  • greenie says:

    My point was that you shouldn’t catagorize people into nice neat little boxes. Everyone is different. Just because you are a Marine, Police Officer, or college student does not predict your behavior. The fact is that you don’t have to agree with or accept anyone’s lifestyle, you just can’t discriminate against it.

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