Pine Cone Drop: New Year’s in Flagstaff

Written by on December 15, 2010 in AZ Events - Comments Off on Pine Cone Drop: New Year’s in Flagstaff

The people of Flagstaff, Arizona, have a unique way to ring in the New Year. No Waterford Crystal glittering ball for these folks! Instead, courtesy of the Weatherford Hotel, citizens and guests get to watch a 70-pound silver pine cone (8 feet long by 4 feet wide) make an elegant descent to mark the midnight hour. The City of Flagstaff blocks off the streets around the hotel and the party begins about 8 p.m. A rocking D.J. broadcasts great music from the hotel balcony, while the Weatherford offers coffee and cocoa to the folks celebrating in the streets. At 10 p.m. (midnight Eastern Standard Time) and again at Midnight Arizona Time, the hotel drops the silver pine cone from their cupola to ring in the New Year. Also at midnight, the city’s fabulous fireworks display fill the sky.

Inside the hotel, the Weatherford serves a scrumptious holiday meal (reservations required) that usually includes surf and turf or pasta selections. Throughout the hotel and through the night, music and dancing are part of the festivities. While reservations are not required to join the dancing and celebrations in the hotel, it is first-come, first-served, so get there early if you want to join the fun.

For more than 100 years, the Weatherford Hotel has graced the Flagstaff skyline. This grand dame was erected in 1900, and has played a major role in the history of the area. In 1908, Zane Grey, a frequent Weatherford guest, visited Grand Canyon country and was inspired to begin writing books about the Southwest (in 1997, the hotel even named their new ballroom after him). In 1915, a freak storm dumped 5 feet of snow on the Flagstaff area, flattening many downtown buildings, but not the Weatherford. In 1929, the balcony of the hotel burned (hmmm, wonder how that happened?). In 1978, the Weatherford was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1999, the first New Year’s Eve pine cone drop took place.

The Weatherford’s rooms are decorated in a charming, turn-of-the-century style. The hotel is heated with steam radiators, so if you hear clanking on a cold winter night, it’s not ghosts — it’s the steam pipes expanding. Since the Weatherford only has 11 sleeping rooms, you must book early (maybe even a year in advance) for rooms for New Year’s Eve. The upstairs pub, Charly’s, has live entertainment most nights of the week and offers an eclectic mix of Southwestern and American food to hungry guests. If you can’t get a room at the Weatherford there are plenty of hotels and lodging in Flagstaff.

The Hotel Weatherford
23 N. Leroux Street,
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

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