Visitors, businesses affected by cancellation of 'Up the Cup' celebrations

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 3rd annual "Up the Cup" Countdown and fireworks on River Street were cancelled due to the poor weather expected Thursday night.

WTOC caught up with one family visiting from Miami who was let down when they heard the festivities were cancelled.

"We were kind of disappointed. It was a long drive, and we were looking forward for the kids to see something different and new and to be in a new town to experience New Year's," said Yizenia Garcia, visiting from Miami.

Organizers of the "Up the Cup" event and fireworks say Thursday's decision was a tough one to make. Ultimately, they had to consider safety as well as their equipment.

"Like I said, the electronics itself. We have this amazing light show that we have happening on the side of the buildings, and that projector alone, it's a six-figure projector," said Savannah Waterfront Association Executive Director Carrie Bligh.

A number of restaurants and shops on River Street depend on the business that New Year's Eve brings. Tubby's Seafood Restaurant is next door to where hundreds of people usually gather to watch the big cup go up. They're disappointed they may see a smaller crowd, but they're at least thankful for Thursday's football games.

"That's what's kept people sitting around all day, but tonight - again, we have a lot of televisions so it's going to be a good time - but it's not going to be the same with all the rain," said Tubby's Seafood Restaurant Manager Bryan Keith.

There is a silver-lining, though, every event that was supposed to take place Thursday has been rescheduled for Saturday evening.

"Cup, light show, fireworks, music, good times. And at the end of the day, it's not about raising a cup or counting down. It's about 2016 being a fabulous year for Savannah, and that's what we're most looking forward to: a great year next year," said Bligh.

The Garcia family from Miami? They still plan on making the best of their New Year's trip to Savannah as well.

"We're just going to be together with family and friends and just be with each other. That's the best we can do for 2016," said Garcia.

WTOC's Steven Gallo: "At the end of the day, that's what counts, right?"

"That's what counts," said Garcia.

Despite the cancellations on River Street, there's still a lot of celebrating going on across our area.
The festivities at City Market are going on and fireworks are still a go on Tybee Island and in Beaufort Thursday evening.

According to the Savannah Waterfront Association, patrons can head to River Street on Saturday, Jan. 2 for a digital light show, fireworks and a celebratory toast to 2016. The six-foot to-go cup will be set up by the River Street Inn with a digital light display starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the toast and fireworks at 8 p.m.

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