Downtown venues ring in Augusta new year

Black and silver balloons hung from the tables in the middle of 11th Street, marking a New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Augusta on Saturday night.

Starting about 11 p.m. the streets were packed and parking was nearly impossible to find anywhere near the event. Police carefully monitored the area.

As the crowd filtered in and filled the square, visiting couple Nancy and Bob, from North Carolina, were excited they found something so lively to do.

“This is so cool,” she said. “We were afraid we would be stuck at the hotel all night.”

Nakita Jeffries, who was in silver from head to toe, was also happy to be downtown.

“Cops talk about keeping people from drinking and driving tonight,” she said. “Holding events all over town helps.”

As the end of 2011 loomed over 11th Street in the form of glittery lights, Augustans welcomed 2012 in style.

Downtown bars 1102 Bar and Grill and Metro Coffee House and Pub put on the event for the fifth time, and newcomer First Round flanked the celebration on all sides.

Metro had live music by band Sibbling String from Augusta, according to the bar’s owner Bobby Morrison.

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