Someone forgot to tell old man winter to take some time off this New Years Eve. Or maybe he’s just angry about something. Either way that north wind off Shallowbag Bay is creating a challenge to New Years Eve celebrations in downtown Manteo. 

The celebration is moving forward anyway. Amidst the occasional snow flurries and dropping temperatures Sassagrass did a great job with their set. Bluegrass but with a driving beat and some great guitar and mandolin work. 

The crowd is slowly growing…surprising given how cold is.

They dropped the ball at a little after 8:30 the timing was a bit off but the kids didn’t seem to mind. 

The Original Rhondels are on stage. There’s a it of a debate about just who are the official Original Rhondels, but these guys are really good. Although their hits were all in the 60s, the playlist covers a couple of decades. Good sax player too.

It’s 28 degrees with a wind chill of 18…but it feels colder. There’s two knots of people at town’s parking lot where the festivities are happening. Sixty or 70 of them are gathered around the stage dancing; another 20 or 30 are gathered around the yule fire trying to get warm.

There are two or three minutes left in 2017. The snow flurries are almost to snow showers…but not quite. The crowd is migrating to the docks on the Manteo waterfront. There’s a countdown, and then, across the harbor, beautiful blue-white lights fill the sky with the number 2018 in suspended in the rigging of the Queen Elizabeth II that rests at its dock.