Canceled: Defiance will ring in the new year with giant milk jug drop

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DEFIANCE, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Arps Dairy posted the following on it's Facebook page Wednesday, Dec. 27:

"We and the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau have had the difficult decision to cancel the NYE Countdown scheduled for Sunday, December 31, 2017. The weather outside is expected to be frightful, so our NYE celebration would not be so delightful.

The official decision was not arrived at lightly. Arps Dairy and the DDVB consulted with Defiance County EMA for weather outlook for Sunday evening into Monday morning. Weather for this weekend and early next week is looking to be in the low teens and single digits and wind chills will cause temperatures to reach well into the negatives. At this time it is stated to be -4 with a wind chill factor of -10 degrees by midnight on NYE. Safety of all attendees, volunteers, and coordinators became the greatest concern. Limited exposure to extremely cold temperatures can cause negative effects very quickly with little warning.

We regret having to cancel this community event, but for the safety of everyone who was planning to attend, this is the right decision.
Plans were put in place for normal winter cold weather, which included tents, heaters, hot chocolate and coffee, but extreme winter cold is out of the control of our event coordinators.

We appreciate all of the positive response we have had to this event. We are deeply disappointed to have to make this decision, but we are looking to possibly plan a community event for all to enjoy later this winter. We will keep you posted.

Please stay safe in these cold temperatures we are all about to encounter.

We wish everyone a Safe and Happy New Year!"


A lot of you have plans with family and friends over the upcoming holidays. New Year's Eve is a big night for people to get together and celebrate. This year there is a new place you can do that here in northwest Ohio. 13abc's Lissa Guyton went to Defiance to find out how the Arps Dairy New Year's Eve Countdown is putting a new twist on an old tradition.

A lot of people head to New York City for the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Others go to Port Clinton for the Walleye Drop, but there's a new option in Defiance. It's a Milk Jug Drop, and everyone is invited. That's right, a Milk Jug Drop.

We got an early look at the giant jug that will be hoisted up on a crane and dropped at the stroke of midnight. They're putting the finishing touches on it at Arps Dairy right now. And it's not your run-of-the-mill milk jug. Tina VanderMade is a co-owner of the dairy, "It's probably 7-8 feet tall and it will have a disco ball on it.It has been quite a project, and we've all had a lot of fun with it."

The idea for the party started when Tina and her husband Lambert were at a New Year's Eve celebration in another city. They decided to come up with their own take on the holiday, and the idea for a milk jug drop was born.

In case you're wondering if the jug will be full, Tina has the answer, "That's a question we've gotten a lot. Are you guys going to drop a jug of milk? The answer is no way. That would be way too messy. We don't want to have to clean it all up!"

Kirstie Mack is the Visitors Bureau Manager with the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau. The event has been a lot of work, but like everyone else she's having a lot of fun with it, "There will certainly be no crying over spilled milk on New Year's Eve in Defiance." What there will be is some big star power. A hometown hero will be ringing in the new year at Triangle Park. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. will be part of the festivities.

Tina says the story of how that came to be is a great illustration of life in a small town, "My family and I were out shopping one night at Marshall's and there was Sam Hornish Jr. We tugged on his coat sleeve and asked him to be a part of the event, and he said absolutely!"

\It's not just a Milk Jug Drop.There will be family-friendly and free events at the park throughout the night. Like cow patty bingo, a milk jug igloo build and a photo booth where you can show off your milk mustache. Kirstie says Santa will even be on hand so the community can thank him for another great Christmas. And there is much more on the agenda that night, "We will have music, ice skating, ice sculpting. There will be all kinds of food and adult beverages. There will be something for the entire family."

Tina says there will also be pints for everyone, pints of milk that is,"We'll actually have a milk jug toast at midnight. Everyone will get a half pint of milk and we'll do that milk jug toast along with Sam Hornish Jr. "

The event runs from 8pm-midnight at Defiance's Triangle park. As we mentioned, the activities are free but there is a charge for food and beverages.

To learn more about this "udderly" incredible New Year's Eve celebration, we've posted a link.