Fitton Center’s New Year’s Eve party still on after Christmas Eve flood

The New Year’s Eve Special Event at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton will still take place, despite the threat of cancellation after a sprinkler pipe burst late on Christmas Eve.

And while the Hamilton Fire Department signed off on the downtown Hamilton arts organization holding its end-of-the-year celebration, Fitton Center Executive Director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley said he and his staff will continue its close consultation with the department regarding repairs to the fire suppression system.

“This is big for us, for our community,” said MacKenzie-Thurley. “We have been working hard since we got the alarm call late Saturday night to get the building secure, to make sure it was safe and to have things cleaned up.”

He said people need to know they are safe when they come into the building, adding, “Our first priority ― always ― is the safety of everyone who sets foot in the Fitton Center.”

Hamilton firefighters were dispatched to the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Saturday night after the burst sprinkler caused flooding. The damage was limited to the first-floor entry foyer area and office.

Saturday was the first day of the scheduled week-long holiday break for the Fitton Center, and the extremely cold weather the region experienced is likely what caused the pipe to burst, officials said. Christmas Eve temperatures hovered around zero degrees.

“Having the green light from HFD to go ahead with this party is important,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “It means the safety experts believe our efforts to get things back to normal have been on target, and people should be comfortable coming out. And believe me, after this experience, we will be more than ready to throw a party people will remember for a long time.”

The Fitton Center’s all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Special Event is from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and features a three-course dinner with bar service and a champagne toast at midnight to ring in the new year. Breakfast will also be served after midnight.

The event is sponsored by 9258 Wealth Management, catered by Two Women in a Kitchen, and live entertainment will be performed by the River City Band.

“Luckily, the water damage was mostly limited to our entryway, dance studio, and office space,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “We’ve been able to concentrate on preparing the Carruthers Signature Ballroom, Vista Room, and our gallery spaces.”

Complete Restoration Services is handling the cleanup. The company is owned by William E. Wilson, a competitive pumpkin carver whose work has been on display at Operation Pumpkin in Hamilton. He has also appeared on the Food Network’s Outrageous Pumpkins program.


NEW YEAR’S EVE @ THE FITTON CENTER

Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Special Event at The Fitton Center, 101 S. Monument St., Hamilton, are available by going online at www.fittoncenter.org/nye or calling 513-863-8873, ext. 110.

Though the Fitton Center is closed this week, staff will monitor the phone lines while cleaning up and preparing the rest of the facility for the event.

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