Fort Worth rang in the New Year on Saturday night at Sundance Square for the first time since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event featured live music, food trucks, live street performances, fireworks, and a countdown to midnight.
Sundance Square’s chief of security, Ed Kraus, told WFAA that the event was anticipating a turnout of at minimum 5,000 people.
Especially given that Sundance Square has not celebrated the New Year in this way since 2020. “There’s desire to get out and celebrate with other people,” according to Kraus.
The event was free to the public, and parking near the venue was free for the weekend.
Attendees also enjoyed watching a Texas Christian University victory on the big screen.
One attendee told WFAA that it was “the place to be” for New Year’s Eve. Another told the news outlet that TCU’s game made the event “even better.”
The event turned out to be a hit, despite being put together very quickly. Anonymous sources told WFAA that they had less than two weeks to prepare for the event, which only received their permit on December 22.
A combination of not having planned the event since 2020 and a former employee in charge of permitting having retired this year are reasons why the event came together so late, according to Kraus. He bears the sole responsibility for it. “That is a shortcoming we had and that falls squarely at my feet,” he said.
Business owners were pleased to see more foot traffic from the event in their area, including artist Bernardo Vallarino, who was displaying his artwork at the Love Texas Gallery on Saturday night.
Vallarino recounted the last time Sundance Square celebrated the New Year in 2020 and is excited for the promise of normalcy that the event’s return brought.