DETROIT (WWJ) — Thousands will converge downtown next Wednesday — New Year’s Eve — for the annual Motor City New Year’s Eve event called “The Drop.”

The event — which features fun, food and lots of music — will run from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Campus Martius.

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Tony Piraino is the co-founder of event and told WWJ Newsradio 950 that it was time for Detroit to compete with cities like New York and Chicago.

“When people would always go to New York and kind of complain that we were a big city, we should start acting like it a little bit,” Piraino said. “So, we put this thing on and it’s grown leaps and bounds over the last five years — this is really becoming one of those new great traditions that Detroit has been known for.”

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(Photo: Motor City NYE)

(Photo: Motor City NYE)

The installation for the “D” will begin Saturday before hundreds of thousands of Michiganders watch it make its descent on New Year’s Eve in Cadillac Square. Handmade in Detroit by the Nordin Brothers, this glittering starburst sculpture, emblazoned with a “D,” will descend twice during the event – once for a Kids’ Drop at 6:30 p.m., and again for the official drop at 11:59 p.m.

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The free community event is loaded with fun outdoor activities for children and adults. New to the event this year, attendees can take shelter inside a massive heated tent and also enjoy a full second stage of entertainment.