Mill Ave debuts 'open carry' NYE drink policy

Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 06:34:25-05

Safety is on the minds of many heading out to local New Year's Eve celebrations around the Valley, and local agencies are getting prepared.

Approximately 40,000 people are expected to ring in 2016 on Mill Avenue in Tempe, which is now blocked to traffic until Friday.

"It's kind of a playground all over downtown," said Kate Borders with Downtown Tempe Authority.

Borders says the dry forecast will be a welcome change from last year's soggy celebrations.

"Last year it was snowy and rainy. It will be a little chilly at night, but that's what it's supposed to be on December 31st."

Weather won't be an issue this year, but safety remains a number one priority. Police and hired security have been making emergency plans for months.

"We live in a different time where these threats, they're real," said Tempe police Lt. Michael Pooley. "We're in direct communication with federal authorities, the FBI, for any incoming threats."

This year, they're implementing a new "open carry" drink policy, where the public can take their drink from one bar to the next, or anywhere on the street.

Traffic will be heavy, so organizers recommend taking the Light Rail, which will be free from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.

For more information on the NYE Block Party on Mill, check out their website.