George Chivvis talks about making the ball for the upcoming New Year's Eve celebration in Lindenhurst. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Lindenhurst is about to be lit up on New Year’s Eve as the incorporated village kicks off its yearlong 100th anniversary celebration with a Centennial Ball Drop on Dec. 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Village Square on Wellwood Avenue.

The ball is being built by Chivvis Enterprises of Copiague, a family-run custom metal fabrication shop which has been in business since 1922, with assistance from Seal Reinforced Fiberglass of Copiague.

“Whenever the village of Lindenhurst needs something, they give me a call,” says owner Floyd Chivvis, a lifelong resident of Lindenhurst who is taking the lead on the project. “The ball is made of fiberglass and is 3-feet across by 3-feet high, weighing 69 pounds. I spray painted it completely white.”

Mike Lorelle, 19, a mechanic at Chivvis Enterprises in Copiague,...

Mike Lorelle, 19, a mechanic at Chivvis Enterprises in Copiague, stands by the ball that will be used for the New Year's Eve ball drop celebration in Lindenhurst. The fiberglass, 69-pound- ball holds 72 lights. Credit: Randee Daddona

Over 70 light bulbs cover the ball completely illuminating the structure with electrical wiring courtesy of Smedley Electric from Lindenhurst. In fact, Chivvis even created special structures to make it shine even brighter. 

“I installed 5-inch stainless steel reflectors on the back of each light socket. This way the light from each bulb will reflect off the stainless steel doubling the lighting,” says Chivvis. “It’s going to be so bright, you’ll need sunglasses!”

The ball will descend down a wire as Chivvis has put a pipe through the top where a wire can go, which will secure it from being swayed by the wind. 

“These challenges keep me going,” says Chivvis, who is 87 and has been in the business for 70 years. “The whole project was fun. But, the best part will be seeing it come down. I think it will be a success.”

TEST RUN

A test run of the ball drop was held on Chivvis’ property on Dec. 18 to make sure all the mechanics were in place.

“We wanted to figure out how we are going to hang it up and get it down. I’m using an electric winch, which is a cable on a spool, that I’ll use to lower it from the top of a fire truck,” says Chivvis. “The ball came down as smooth as I can make it. Now all we have to do is make sure it works when it’s supposed to work!”

Village Trustee RJ Renna adds, “Chivvis thought of everything including special brackets to mount to the truck. We wanted to get the control down to see how we’ll drop the ball and understand the timing of that. The ball will drop for 30 seconds and we’ll do a countdown for the last 10 seconds. We have a plan and the plan works.”

NEW YEAR'S EVE GAME PLAN

Before the ball makes its descent, the evening will begin with a concert from Top 40 cover band The Good Life with fresh popcorn and hot pretzels for sale by street vendors.

After a speech from Village Mayor Michael A. Lavorata at 8:45 p.m., the ball drop will take place from approximately 100-feet in the air with assistance from the Lindenhurst Fire Department. There will be 100th anniversary hats and noisemaker giveaways. A professional fireworks show by Grucci closes out the program.

“We want to make a big splash going into 2023,” says Renna, who will emcee the event. “The plan is to make this an annual tradition and a good night for the village.”

MORE LINDENHURST CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS 

Throughout each month of 2023, the village of Lindenhurst will hold an event celebrating its centennial.

In January, a keg party will be held at Sand City Brewing launching Lindenhurst’s own signature anniversary brew. Come February, the “Why I Love Lindenhurst” program takes place in the local schools where kindergarten through 5th grade students can compete through essay and poster contests. For March, there will be a special centennial float in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In April, local students grades 6-12 can take part in multimedia art displays at Lindenhurst Memorial Library and the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts. A Roaring ‘20s centennial cocktail party is planned for May and, come June, there will be a fire department parade with community re-enactments focusing on Lindenhurst’s historical moments.

MORE VILLAGE EVENTS  

Patchogue Village's 'Midnight on Main Street'

Set for the intersection of West Main Street and West Avenue from 7 to 9 p.m., DJ Charlie Lombardo will be performing throughout the bash while attendees score free noisemakers and party hats, and Vendors will also be selling food and drinks. Ten seconds before "Patchogue Midnight" (9 p.m.) arrives, the family of the late Louis Giancontieri (the builder behind the mechanism that's lifted the ball since the debut event in 2014) will be on-hand to push a special button that initiates the rise of the ball, which will take place at 9 p.m., followed by fireworks.
INFO Free 

Farmingdale Village NYE ball drop

The pre-ball drop party kicks off on the Village Green (at the intersection of Main and Prospect streets), where heaters will be in place and live music by The Electric Dudes will begin at 7:30 p.m. Noisemakers, glow sticks and hot chocolate will be available for attendees. The ball lighting and countdown will start at 8:30 p.m.
INFO Free