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New Year’s Eve Ball drop today in Rensselaer Falls

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RENSSELAER FALLS – A village couple is gearing up to host the third annual New Year’s Eve “First Night at the Falls” tonight.

Artists Tammy L. Cotton and Donald D. Sendlak will host “First Night” at the former Methodist Church, 107 State St.

The public is invited to begin gathering around the old church at 11 p.m.

“This is the only ball drop we know of in St. Lawrence County,” Ms. Cotton said.

About a 100 people attend the ball drop each year.

“We want to draw people from at least a few towns around,” Mr. Sendlak, a millwright and fabricator, said.

A quarter of the size of the New Year’s Eve Ball in New York City, Rensselaer Fall’s ball measurers 3 feet in diameter and features 360 tear-shaped LED lights and a mirror ball inside. It will drop from a boom extending from the bell in the steeple of the church.

“It’s a low-budget thing for us to do to bring the community together,” Ms. Cotton, a painter and sculptor, said. It takes us a little bit of time, but it is totally worth it to bring smiles on people’s faces.”

The glittering ball was raised Monday night. It will be lit for most of the day today until it is turned off at dusk, Mr. Sendlak said.

“Parents tell us they enjoy making special memories for their kids,” Ms. Cotton said. “That is what means the most to me and knowing these kids grow up with their own tradition.”

The couple decided to host the ball drop several years ago, after they moved to the area.

“The community has welcomed us so graciously,” Ms. Cotton said. “We have met some really wonderful people. This was really a way for us to give back to the community for embracing us.”

The couple plans to open “Sanctuary,” an art gallery featuring commissioned art and performing artworks, in the old church. The gallery will include a lounge serving adult beverages, light foods and coffee.

“It’s moving along slowly but surely and we hope it will become a restaurant and entertainment venue for the village,” Mr. Sendlak said.

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