FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: Due to expected heavy rain, wind and potential lightning, the ball drop has been canceled, according to a release from the city of Fort Smith.

The statement noted that there are still “quite a few parties happening downtown tonight” and suggested that people come out and enjoy themselves at member establishments.

Downtown Fort Smith is preparing to celebrate the new year.

The annual ball drop is back this year with family friendly events available for guests.

The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. With the rise of the omicron variant, the city is keeping the festivities small.

“We won’t have music, but we’ll have all the downtown restaurants and bars and everything will be open,” said Downtown Business Association member Jessie Burrows. “It’ll just be a nice family-oriented event. You can come down right before midnight and watch the ball drop, and watch the countdown, and just be with your family and friends.”

The ball is scheduled to drop at Sixth Street and Garrison Street next to First National Bank with a fireworks display following at the stroke of midnight.