DSI won’t host bell tower celebration; artist plans to have it anyway

SALISBURY — New Year’s Eve party-goers, minglers and area hobnobbers won’t find Downtown Salisbury Inc. hosting the usual festivities at the old Presbyterian Bell Tower this year.

But the party will go on regardless, if local artist Clyde has his way.

Since the site rang in the first day of 1975, local merrymakers have taken to the tower at the corner of West Innes and Jackson streets to count down the year’s final moments.

But Molly Ruf, a project coordinator for Downtown Salisbury Inc., said the DSI?board opted not to hold the festivities this year, citing “limited staff manpower.”

Ruf said the board may decide to resume the tradition in future years, after a new executive director is selected. Randy Hemann left that post in May after 16 years to become city manager in Oxford.

The news of no bell tower celebration didn’t sit well with Clyde, who called the decision to remove the celebration a day before the festivities “pathetic”?and said he plans to see 2014 kick off as it has for the last 40 years.

“We are not not having it. We’re having it,” Clyde, the artist formerly known as Clyde Overcash, told the Post. “We’ve had it every year. It doesn’t take anything. Bring your candles and bells.”

Clyde said residents can show up when they want.

“Just be there before midnight,”?he added.

See Tuesday’s Post for more information.

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