Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Naperville Park District will not be hosting the traditional Countdown at the Carillon event at the Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower. However, there will be a specially recorded video of the Carillon bell, Big Joe, striking midnight, followed by the bells playing “Auld Lang Syne”. The video was recorded by City Carillonneur Tim Sleep.
Sleep explained, “We want to provide a way for people to continue the community tradition of marking the New Year with the Carillon bells, even when they cannot gather in a large crowd.” The 2020 New Year’s Eve video begins with the Westminster announcement, then Big Joe strikes midnight, followed by a Royal Peal and Auld Lang Syne.
The video is posted on NaperParks and Millennium Carillon Facebook pages. Another Millennium Carillon tradition is to play a live concert immediately after midnight. However, things will be slightly different this year. Tim Sleep will play a concert including tunes such as “Try to Remember,” “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” along with some Scott Joplin Piano Rags and a few Viennese waltzes.
Sleep said plenty of people can enjoy the “event” as the Carillon can be heard on both sides of the river. He said, “Usually Sue Bergren and I have done a program of duets, but we aren’t able to distance from each other sitting on the same bench. So this year we decided that I should do a solo program at midnight.”