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      Final preparations for Marquette ball drop

      Tonight is the big night, and anyone looking forward to seeing the ball drop in Marquette will not be disappointed.

      Many cities around the U.S. celebrate midnight on New Year's Eve by dropping a decorated ball or symbolic object, and Marquette is no exception. The ball drop at the Savings Bank on the corner of Front and Washington in downtown Marquette has been a tradition for more than 20 years. John Prince of J.P. Electric has made the ball for the community every year using materials from his business.

      He and several neighbors and volunteers helped to hoist the ball up five stories Saturday afternoon. The ball is constructed the night before, but several more preparations need to be done the day of New Year's Eve.

      "Today it'll be actually stringing the lights and getting the ball ready to drop, checking it all out, making sure that everything works and get ready for tonight," said Terry Szczepanski, assistant to John Prince.

      The volunteers said it is lots of fun to make the ball every year and to see how many people enjoy it.