When Timothy Crabtree decided to create a New Years Eve event nine years ago, he did it with the intention of creating something unique and special for Macon County. He and his friends would always leave town to celebrate the holiday in nearby cities, so why not create something locally to enjoy? Thus, the annual Ruby Drop was born.
Now, nearly a decade later, the demographic of Franklin has shifted, as has the makeup of Main Street businesses. When the event was first created, Main Street would resemble a ghost town by 5 p.m., and by the time the sun went down, you would be lucky to find a restaurant opened, let alone anything else. That has all changed. With retail businesses like Blush and Outdoor 76 staying open later for shoppers and dining options like Gracious Plates on Main and Root + Barrel that encourage patrons to come in for the food, but to stay for the atmosphere and drinks, Main Street in Franklin now boasts several New Year’s Eve event options. With the growing variety of downtown activities paired with experiencing the trend of a younger demographic of families with children attending the annual Ruby Drop, Crabtree decided to host the Ruby Drop at 10 p.m. to give families a chance to enjoy the events and partygoers the chance to visit other local businesses and activities.
The annual event is hosted by Motor Company Grill and Crabtree General Store, but businesses along Main Street have joined in on the celebration, offering special deals and discounts and staying open late to better serve the crowds.
“While we started this event as Motor Company Grill and Crabtree General, it was never meant to be about us or our businesses,” said Crabtree. “We wanted to create something unique for Franklin that not only gave locals a place to celebrate the New Year but became a destination for people in surrounding towns and I think we have accomplished that. We are starting our party at 8 p.m. with music, carriage rides, and new this year the tiny camper photo booth, and will countdown the Ruby Drop at 10 p.m. That will give families who want to get younger kids home a chance to still enjoy the event and then let guests head over to Root + Barrel for their activities or down to Altered Frequencies, which is a brand new option for ringing in the New year this year.”
The annual Ruby Drop features a 7’ by 7’ — 1,300 LED light-filled Ruby that is hung high above Main Street in Franklin via a crane. As the crowd counts down, the Ruby is lowered, giving guests the perfect photo op with one of Franklin’s newest, yet favored holiday traditions.