While New Year's Eve often means popping open champagne, waiting for the ball to drop and a kiss at midnight, the little ones with early bedtimes often miss out on the big to-do at 12 a.m.
That's why the Friends at Kent County Public Library decided to put on a New Year's celebration that the whole family can enjoy together. The Winter Festival, the first of its kind at the library, will allow children to ring in the new year with plenty of games, crafts and activities they can enjoy with their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.
To celebrate the inaugural event, the library aimed for big. And big it will be with the theme, "Under the Big Top." From 9 a.m. to noon Monday, the library will morph into a circus, complete with mimes, jugglers, magicians and plenty of games to keep the kids busy all morning long.
Also joining in on the fun will be the Polytech cheer squad and the Magnolia Fire Company who will help guests count down to noon, when the balloons — that's correct, a monstrous 600 balloons — will drop from the ceiling.
"We're really excited," said Library Director Hilary Welliver. "It's the first time we've tried this. We are here for the community and want to provide a place for the community to spend their time, and this is one way to show it."
For $5 a person, guests will be treated to a morning of fun and, of course, quality time with their family, Welliver said.
"New Year's is not a fun holiday for kids," she said. "Parents can go out later, and still know they were able to do something with their kids. Everyone goes home happy.
"We also wanted it to be family-affordable," she added. "We wanted to make certain everyone could come and have three hours of fun."
All are welcome, Welliver said. The library staff encourages community members to invite their friends and family from across the state.
"We want to spread the word about our library and show people how many choices they have when it comes to their libraries in Delaware," she said.
And thanks to a generous donor, who remained anonymous, all of the children from the Elizabeth W. Murphey School and Shepherd's Place in Dover will be able to attend the event for free.
"We are so touched to see all of the generous people that have been offering to help," Welliver said. "There have been so many people who have come forward — service organizations, schools, the fire company — willing to participate. It's been a wonderful experience, very heartwarming."
IF YOU GO
Page 2 of 2 - WHAT Winter Festival
WHERE Kent County Public Library, 497 S. Red Haven Lane, Dover
WHEN 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, Dec. 31
COST $5 per person. Tickets must be purchased by 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 28.
INFO Call (302) 698-6440