SHAMOKIN - Shamokin will hold its annual coal drop at Market and Independence streets New Years Eve.

Klacik and Associates, Shamokin, will sponsor the event, which will feature fireworks and music by DJ Powerhouse Sounds. The coal drop will not cost the city anything to run, except for the employees' time needed set up the event, according to councilman and mayor-elect William Milbrand.

Milbrand, who took the brunt of public criticism at a city council meeting Dec. 23 when council furloughed five city employees, had previously volunteered to take over the event from out-going mayor George Rozinskie.

In past years, the mayor or a high-profile resident of Shamokin has led revelers counting down to the new year; however, Milbrand is not so sure he wants the job.

Milbrand is concerned for his safety and worried someone could even "take a shot" at him.

"I'm very nervous about being up on that platform," Milbrand said Friday. "I wish they had bulletproof glass up there; just the way the public acted up there (city hall) and showed their anger.

"People say it will never happen in this town, but it really is possible," he said. "I'm not sure I feel comfortable going on stage."

For now, it appears the huge chunk of coal will drop at midnight and revelers will celebrate by counting down from ten - with or without the help of a host.