Colorado Springs' family-friendly Noon Year's Eve party draws a crowd

By Carol McGraw Updated: December 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm • Published: December 31, 2013 | 5:00 pm 0
photo - Rillen Redleaf, 4, and Michelle Morris catch balloons as they fall from the ceiling at the crack of noon during the Noon Year's Eve celebration at the Olympic Training Center Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The Pikes Peak Children's Museum sponsored the family event. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Rillen Redleaf, 4, and Michelle Morris catch balloons as they fall from the ceiling at the crack of noon during the Noon Year's Eve celebration at the Olympic Training Center Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The Pikes Peak Children's Museum sponsored the family event. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

It wasn't Times Square, but to hundreds of kids and parents at the U.S. Olympic Center on Tuesday it was an exhilarating way to bring in the New Year, albeit 12 hours early.

The Noon Year's Eve event had all the festive trappings of the holiday - entertainment, face painting, sing-alongs and even a few costumed characters including a dancing cow and a kangaroo with a very large tail.

The venue, one of the center's gyms, was so jam-packed with revelers it was hard to get from area where the Princess was stamping cute tattoos on kids arms to the dance floor where everyone where jumping around to the song "YMCA" and making arm gestures to spell out the letters.

The longest line was at the food booth where kid-friendly sliced oranges and chocolate chip cookies were grabbed and gobbled.

The Noon Year's Eve party was sponsored by the non-profit Pikes Peak Children's Museum and several other local groups.

There was no glittery ball drop, but the release of hundreds of purple balloons at noon had the crowd counting down and screaming in glee.

"This is awesome!" Emmanuel Araujo shouted above the roar of the crowd. The 12-year-old had decided on a resolution for 2014. "I'm going to get better grades in social studies," he said.

Many of the little ones didn't know what a resolution was. But they were willing to explain what they were going to do in the new year.

Natalie Sommerlatte, 7, wants more time in the kitchen. "I want to make lots of cookies. Chocolate chip."

Her mother Amy Sommerlatte who runs a day care, said that idea gels with her own. "In 2014 we want to have a lot of fun."

Four-year-old twins Jessica and Brandan Sandusky explained their plans.

"I want to watch the Olympics," Jessica said. "And basketball. I like to ski."

Brandan's idea of a good New Year: "I like to read books and I like to play with magnets."

Their mother Kate Sandusky was contemplating the typical resolution to lose weight. "Well actually I want to take my digital photos and file them."

The board members of the Pikes Peak Children's Museum organizing committee are hoping to move another step forward in creating a museum. They've been working on it for years, but the bad economy slowed plans, said board member Rich Hughes. They have been working with a community advisory committee to start major fundraising.

They would like to eventually see the museum built downtown or near America the Beautiful Park. "We are one of the few areas of our size that doesn't have one. Museums are a good way to revitalize an area. And a children's museum is the best way for families to enjoy time together and learn something new."

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Contact Carol McGraw: 636-0371. Twitter @mcgrawatgazette Facebook: Carol McGraw

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