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Monday, December 30, 2013 - 8:01pm

Savannah To "Up The Cup" On New Year's Eve

Savannah is starting a new New Year's Eve tradition.

At the stroke of midnight, when New York drops its ball and Atlanta drops its peach, Savannah will raise its cup.

Merchants on the historic waterfront are sponsoring the night of revelry, which celebrates both the new year and Savannah's cherished tradition of being able to drink on the streets year-round.

The six-foot-tall steel and plastic cup replicates those taken "to go" from bars.

"We were all trying to come up with an idea of what to do for New Year's Eve and one of the things you think about when you're in a party mood in Savannah is the 'to go' cup," says Carrie Bligh of the Savannah Waterfront Association. "It's going to be a fun thing, like popping open a bottle of champagne."

Savannah officials have tweaked their alcohol ordinances over the years to curb drinking excesses, especially those on display during the city's large St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Bligh isn't afraid the event will be seen as promoting alcohol consumption.

"You can fill your cup with anything," Bligh says. "Sweet tea, water."

The cup to be raised on New Year's Eve won't be revealed until 8:30pm on the city's waterfront promenade, Rousakis Plaza.

Bligh says the cup's designers used computers and an actual "to go" cup to create the replica.

The event is sponsored by Wet Willie's, a River Street bar that specializes in frozen alcoholic drinks.

But don't expect anything frozen or alcoholic to come out of the cup dropping at midnight.

Bligh says the six-foot "to go" cup won't be filled with anything.