Jan. - March
Our city rang in the new year with a bang. Cleveland Rocks New Year's Eve host and 19 Action News entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet takes us inside the countdown.
It was 21 degrees without the windchill, and snow was piling up. It wasn't ideal conditions for an outdoor party.
"I don't know if our turntables will even work in this," Yasmine Yousaf from EDM group Krewella said to me in the least joking tone possible. We thought the weather might keep revelers away, but we hadn't considered how it might affect the equipment.
But this is Cleveland. None of that mattered as the gates opened and more than 15,000 people flooded in, covered from head to toe to stay warm. But no amount of clothing could conceal the excitement in their eyes. And for good reason, this was the first New Year's Eve on Public Square in 14 years.
The bright stage lights and the glimmer from smartphones and glow sticks mixed with the huge flakes that fell, making it look like we had been shaken up inside a real-life snow globe. The beat of Krewella's hit song "Live for the Night" thumped, and the crowd moved in unison with just two hours left in the year. "This feels just like Times Square," someone with light-up 2014 glasses said.
Drew Carey paid for his own flight to be part of this and wasn't scheduled to join our broadcast on 19 Action News until 11:30 p.m., but he showed up over an hour early. "I just couldn't wait inside any longer," he said with a smile as the crowd chanted his name. "I can't believe this is happening in Cleveland."
The excitement kept building as we approached midnight — and so did the snow. They had to shovel out an area for Carey to stand on the stage.
"One minute away," Carey said to the crowd. "If you haven't found someone to kiss, it's not too late." As the countdown to 2014 hit — three ... two ... one — fireworks shot into the night sky. The first song that played summed it all up: "Cleveland Rocks."
Art We Love
Finally, the Cleveland Museum of Art is whole again. After years of ambitious renovation, it has brought its Asian art collection, one of the world's best, back into public view. On Jan. 2, the museum opened its West Wing, with 525 artworks from China, India and Southeast Asia. Amid the sweep of centuries, you might miss this porcelain vase from the Ming dynasty, which looks simple from afar. But a closer look at Meiping Vase with Cloud Collars and Peony Sprays reveals very fine, exquisite carvings of leaves and other ornamentation. "It shows the extremely high standards demanded for imperial porcelain made in China in the 15th century," says Anita Chung, the museum's curator of Chinese art.
Since the February announcement that United Airlines was vacating its hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and canceling 37 flights for good, Frontier and Spirit airlines have flown in to add more than 20 destinations.