Song, dance kick off Red Stick Revelry

Tempting Tradition

Mayor-President Kip Holden unveiled the official New Year’s Eve song Thursday for Baton Rouge, written by Wendell Woods and performed by the local band Phat Hat.

The song, and accompanying music video, seek to generate attention and hype for the first downtown New Year’s Eve celebration, called “Red Stick Revelry,” which will culminate with the midnight dropping of a massive sculptural red stick fixed 60 feet in the air.

The dropping of the red stick is meant to mimic the iconic Time’s Square ball in New York City.

Officials hope Red Stick Revelry will be the beginning of a Baton Rouge tradition that could draw tourists from surrounding areas to the New Year’s Eve festivities.

Woods, a local lawyer, was commissioned to write the song. The catchy song’s hook asks, “Where are you going to be on New Year’s Eve? In the middle of Red Stick Revelry.”

The video features Holden, Woods, the band and other downtown officials ringing in the New Year with singing and dancing down Third Street. The song can be viewed at www.redstickrevelry.com.

The song will be played on local radio stations, and is available for download on iTunes, said Rannah Gray, whose firm is helping organize the celebration.

Proceeds from the song, which is being sold for 99 cents, will be split between the band and funding the future event.

This year, the event is being funded entirely by sponsors, Gray said.

The 9-foot, lighted red stick sculpture to be dropped at midnight cost about $40,000, she said.

The organizers are still raising funds to put on a fireworks show, which will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, she said.

The New Year’s Eve festivities begin at 11 a.m. with creative activities for kids, led by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, and a performance by Robby Wilson, the assistant director of the Louisiana Book Festival, of the “Legend of the Red Stick.” It’s a story for all ages that tells how the city of Baton Rouge got its name.

Geaux Body Fitness Studio will provide free lessons on the “Red Stick Revelry” line dance and lead warm-up exercises to help revelers get started on their New Year’s resolutions.