November 19, 2010


Coffee Mania will fund fireworks

Staff Reporter

The skies of downtown Cortland will once more be lit up by fireworks during the First Night New Year’s Eve celebration, since the local business Coffee Mania has stepped up to fund the fireworks.
Coffee Mania owner Michelle Brooks said Thursday that she and her husband, Craig, wanted to give back to Cortland since the community gives so much to them.
The Brooks family has operated a business in the community for 11 years, currently operating drive-thru locations on Port Watson Street and Groton Avenue and the sit down coffee house, Origins, on Route 281 in Homer.
“We decided to do it this year because we feel like it promotes a good community activity downtown and it’s a good thing for Cortland,” Brooks said of the fireworks display.
The First Night celebration was canceled last year because of financial troubles but the Cortland Downtown Partnership, the lead organizer for the event, decided to proceed with the celebration this year.
Adam Megivern, Cortland Downtown Partnership executive director, said he never intended to abandon the celebration, which was initiated in 1999 to mark the city’s centennial.
First Night will begin the evening of New Year’s Eve and carry on until the early morning hours on New Year’s Day. Main Street will be blocked between Court and Tompkins streets.
The celebration will feature fireworks, music and a countdown to the dropping of a lighted ball from the clock tower building at the corner of Main and Tompkins streets.
In the celebration’s first years, the ball was dropped from the clock tower of the Squires Building which once stood at that location, until a fire destroyed the building in 2006.
The celebration was moved across the street to the Cortland Standard building for the First Night events from 2006 through 2008.
In 2008, Little Big Shots, a Homer-based fireworks retailer, volunteered to fund the fireworks, which cost $6,000 that year.
The Homer firm will put on the show this year as well.
Brooks did not say how much the fireworks will cost this time.
This year’s First Night should avoid overtime costs that amounted to $2,500 for city police in 2008, because this year the event will rely on police officers already out on patrol.
First Night is free and open to the public.


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