Two Colorado Springs businessmen are planning a New Year’s Eve Party they hope will draw 10,000 people downtown and the same TV coverage that New York and Los Angeles receive.
The party masterminds: Ed Bircham, founder of Bircham’s office supply, and Charles Prignano, better known to many as Major Mandolin.
The pair already hosts a New Year’s gala every year, but they aren’t necessarily known as the town party animals.
Bircham has made a name for himself as an outspoken ultra-conservative Republican, and Prignano serenades mature audiences with his mandolin at weddings and senior-citizen living communities.
Nonetheless, the two are planning a New Year’s Eve extravaganza unlike any seen in these parts.
And they say they’re negotiating with ABC, though thus far have received no promises.
“They cover New York City, and then move to Chicago, then they skip over the millions of people living in the Rocky Mountain West to cover Los Angeles and Hollywood,” Prignano said. “It’s time to cover events going on here. And it’s time Colorado Springs got some positive news coverage.”
Bircham and Prignano hold their formal ball at the Antlers Hilton hotel every year, and this year they’re planning to take the party outdoors and hope to include downtown nightclubs.
The city has already agreed to close Cascade and Pikes Peak avenues to allow the festivities, which would take place in the Palmer Center in front of the Antlers.
The event will not include a New Year’s Eve ball drop, but Bircham and Prignano have an agreement with Ultimate Electronics to show New York City’s ball drop on outdoor big-screen TVs.
There’s more to their plan, too.
“We’re having three balloons rise in the air, or if weather doesn’t allow that, at least have a glow,” Prignano said. “We’re also going to be in touch with the Pikes Peak climbers, so when they set off the fireworks, that will be televised as well.”
At this point, the two are still working on agreements with downtown nightclubs.
“They ought to buy in,” Prignano said. “We’re hoping this brings 10,000 people downtown.”
Assuming all goes as planned, the two don’t plan to profit from their venture.
“Proceeds from the event, all of them, will go to USA Cares, a national military nonprofit,” Prignano said. “We chose a national nonprofit because we think the television stations are more likely to cover that than a smaller, local one.”