Stroll Kennett Square as the mushroom drops to usher in 2018
● By J. Chambless
Live music under the lighted mushroom will lead up to the countdown to 2018 in Kennett Square.
By John Chambless
a Chester County tradition, and a highlight of the year in Kennett
Square, and it's happening again on Dec. 31.
The annual Midnight in the Square features the famous Mushroom Drop, a lighted mushroom that is raised 100 feet above the intersection of State and Union streets. When the clock strikes 12, the mushroom descends as the crowd celebrates the arrival of 2018. It also pays tribute to the area's mushroom history, and adds a bit of eccentric fun to the usual New Year's Eve countdown.
Visitors can make a night of it, because an outdoor laser light show begins at 6 p.m. Then, at 6:30 p.m., the Garage on South Union Street opens with children's entertainment by Dan and Galla, who are favorites every year at the Mushroom Festival and Unionville Fair.
Kennett Brewing Company will be serving food, beer and wine beginnign at 6:30 p.m., and Robyn's Nest Catering will have three food stations and concession carts set up on East and West State Street, offering coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, water, soda and juice, along with soft pretzels, hot peanuts, mushroom soup, macaroni and cheese, breaded mushrooms, Porkers Sandwiches, Jello Dirt Cups, candy apples and cotton candy.
Live entertainmnent on the street begins at 6:30 p.m. with vocalist Kevin, followed by the KMC Dancers, the band Rose Project, Fred McCarthy and the raising of the lighted mushroom at 8:45 p.m.
The Funsters will perform live music from 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., including the midnight countdown.
Visitors can also warm up with dinner beforehand at any downtown restaurant, including Grain, the Kennett Brewing Company, the Kennett Square Inn, La Maderia Bistro, La Verona, Lily's Asian Cuisine and Portabello's.
Parking is available at Exelon Way, off of East Baltimore Pike, and at Kennett High School, with free shuttle buses running from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Visitors are not allowed to carry open containers of alcohol. Bags will be checked at entrances, and no back packs are allowed.
Midnight on the Square is a joint venture of the Kennett Area Restaurant and Merchants Association and the Mushroom Festival. Visit www.historickennettsquare.com.
Meanwhile, The Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square) is hosting a concert by Mary Fahl, former vocalist for October Project, on Dec. 31 at 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and there will be a free champagne toast. The show will end by 11 p.m., allowing patrons to take part in the nearby Mushroom Drop.
Fahl is a singer/songwriter who rose to fame as lead singer and co-founder of the mid-1990s group October Project. She has released several solo albums, including a reworking of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," and her studio albom "The Other Side of Time."
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 on the day of the show, if available. For tickets or more information, visit www.kennettflash.org.