Crowds hit the streets of Downtown Roanoke to ring in the new year

ROANOKE, Va. – Thousands of people will be hitting the streets of downtown Roanoke to celebrate the start of 2024.

“All hands on deck, we are expecting full capacity. We’ve been booked out with reservations for at least a week now, probably more like two weeks,” Jason Martin, Director of Operations for Martin’s Downtown and Sidecar restaurants said.

Some businesses are expecting more people this year as the iconic New Year’s Eve event, The Big Lick Downtown Countdown was canceled but will be back next year.

“It was just kinda the perfect storm of things that occurred for us not to be able to host it this year, between there being some renovations in the building and us putting some resources, more resources into our Comic-Con that are coming back in February of 2024,” JD Sutphin, Owner and Creative Director of Big Lick Entertainment said.

Bars like Sidewinders are welcoming the crowds.

“We’re expecting a very large crowd tonight with it being New Year’s Eve people wanna get out and have a good time. Downtown Roanoke is clearly a great destination, and we think we have a lot to offer here at Sidewinders,” Robert Duff, Head of in-house security at Sidewinders said.

Many businesses are preparing well in advance with tonight being a huge night for business.

“This is one of our biggest days of the year as it is with a lot of businesses. People wanna get out, they want to send out 2023 whether it was good or bad. And they’re excited about a new year,” Duff said.

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