It was, by all accounts, the best-organized, best-attended countdown yet.
"I think it's a good thing for us to do," says Rick Herrington, director of Telluride's Parks and Rec Dept. "It's a free event; people can kind of mingle. There are a lot of tourists. I heard someone from the community say he saw more tourists than people he knew.
"Not everybody can afford to go to a big-deal event," he says, of the countdown, going on to add, "I think it's kind of cool."
Telluride Town Councilmember Andrea Benda emceed the event; Dean Rolley provided sound (and shelter for the sound system); and six Telluride marshals were on duty as the clock struck midnight.
"I think the attendees were very respectful and well-behaved," says Chief Marshal Mary Heller, who had every marshal on duty at some point on Dec. 31 and into the next morning. By countdown time, however, it was just Heller and one other officer four more officers, in teams of two, had gone off to handle a cocaine bust and a minor in possession of alcohol.
"I know we seem like we're kind of chilling the party," she says. "We did have to seize some things, like fireworks, for safety reasons.
"They were pretty good fireworks, but we still had to take them."
Officers also responded to "quite a few" open containers, "which we generally have, and that we can only regulate so much," says Heller.
"There was a lot of that."
By all counts, Benda was the star of the show.
"I think whoever takes on the emceeing of the celebration has a big impact," Heller says. "Andrea did a great job."
The Countdown Celebration, now in its seventh year, was started at the auspicious Dec. 1999 Jan. 2000 changeover by longtime Telluride resident Scott Brown.
Over the years, organizing and maintaining the event has fallen on the sturdy shoulders of the Parks and Rec Dept.
"It really doesn't cost that much money," says Herrington. "We put out the notices for street-closing and for no open containers." Open containers are, of course, found every year by police, who "pour them out and throw the bottles away" all the while, doing "an excellent job of being polite and informative."
Further preparations include bringing on "three three-yard dumpsters," and then, later that night, the streetsweeper, although this year, the sweep was delayed thanks to a fresh load of snow.
The next morning, Parks and Rec staff "picks up what's left."
Heller's final word on the festivities: "It was a very active night. The attendees were very respectful and well-behaved and having a great time."