New Year’s Eve for 2015 proved popular in Floyd where crowds filled the Floyd Country Store to hear and dance to the music of the Dry Hill Draggers and another large crowd overflowed Dogtown Road House just down a little further on South Locust Street.
Those who made it to midnight and beyond provided a large sendoff to a year with controversy, terror and change.
Most expressed a desire to celebrate the transition from 2015 to 2016.
Some, however, said there aren’t a lot of reasons to celebrate.
One patron at Dogtown Roadhouse discussed the increase of anger in society over illegal immigration, job losses and economic hardship before opening his coat to display a shoulder holster with a semi-automatic pistol.
“Let it come,” he said. “I’m prepared and I’m not afraid of a damn thing.”
A woman who saw the weapon stepped back,
“I’m afraid of him,” she said.
Floyd County ended 2015 with an increase of applications for concealed carry permits and area gun stores reported sharp increases in sales of both handguns and long weapons.
The county also saw changes in government. Longtime sheriff Shannon Zeman retired, as did circuit clerk Wendell Peters. New faces start the year on both the board of supervisors and the school board. County administrator Dan Campbell took a new job in Madison County in the Shenandoah Valley and assistant Terri Morris took over the top job in the county.
Most people Thursday night, however, were in a mood to party and the crowd at the Floyd Country Store flatfooted their way into 2016 with applause and cheers. The music was different at Dogtown but the emphasis was on fun.
The old year is over. The new one is upon us.