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Hop set to drop at Rocky Mount Mills

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A test of the New Year's Eve Hop Drop is run Thursday at Rocky Mount Mills.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Twin Counties residents won’t have to drive to Raleigh or tune in their television sets to broadcasts from New York City to enjoy bidding farewell to 2018 and ringing in 2019.

That’s because close to home, the Rocky Mount Mills plans to host its first annual New Year’s Eve celebration called Hop Drop.

As the clock strikes midnight at the end of Monday at the locale’s old water tank just off Falls Road, there’s going to be a lowering of a large, illuminated green image of the leafy, key ingredient used in making beer.

“And with us being a craft beer campus, we felt like a hop would represent Rocky Mount Mills, kind of telling our story of what you can find on campus,” said Julie Baggett, who’s events and marketing manager at the commercial and residential mixed-use development.

Baggett said the thinking behind the event was a collective one among the Mills’ staff, with a test run of the Hop Drop having been conducted on Thursday evening.

“We want to be eastern North Carolina’s newest destination — and having a New Year’s Eve draw was kind of the idea of what would make us different,” Baggett said.

There’s going to be plenty to enjoy prior to the Hop Drop.

Baggett said starting 5 p.m. on Monday, people can participate in what’s being called “a campus crawl” at the Mills

The idea is for customers to make purchases at the breweries, eateries or restaurants and in the process receive key chains resembling bottle openers.

Each customer obtaining five such key chains can get in for free to enjoy The Balter Brothers, a local classic rock-and-roll band.

The Balter Brothers are set to start performing at 9 p.m. in the Power House gathering place.

People not obtaining the five key chains can still get in to see and hear the Balter Brothers by paying a $10 cover charge.

The Balter Brothers won’t be the only entertainment on the schedule.

Baggett said Dizzy Parker, a pop rock musician who’s from Rocky Mount but more recently from New York City, reached out about coming home to perform.

She said Parker is going to open for The Balter Brothers.

She also said Stray Local, a folk band from Wilmington, is going to play at 8 p.m. in Goat Island Bottle Shop.

As for the main focus late in the evening at the water tower, Baggett said, “We’re going to start gathering people at around 11:30,” with DJ Greg playing tunes in the Mills lobby near the tower.

The schedule hardly calls for the event to end at midnight.

Baggett said Tipsy Tomato is going to be teaming up with the brewery incubators at the Mills and setting up a mobile pizza oven in the beer garden.

She also said Tap@1918’s full kitchen is going to remain open until 1 a.m.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for cloudy skies on Monday, with a low temperature of approximately 57 degrees and a 50 percent chance of precipitation.

Baggett said she isn’t worried about the weather.

“The show will go on, rain or shine,” she said.

To keep track of updates about the event, follow Rocky Mount Mills on Facebook.

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