Children celebrate 2019 ahead of time

Published 6:12 pm Monday, December 31, 2018

The clock counted down to zero, balloons fell and the entire children’s area at the North Suffolk Library erupted in their shouts, dancing and cheers. It was the culmination of all the arts, crafts and treats for the library’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration on Saturday.

Both North Suffolk and Morgan Memorial libraries were prepared for festivities that allowed the children to ring in the new year at a more kid-friendly time of day, according to Elementary Services Senior Librarian Deborah Ward.

“Midnight can be very late for these little ones,” Ward said, “so (we arranged for) a fun party during the day so everybody can have a fun, party atmosphere to celebrate.”

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Children decorated their own crafty sugar cookies with sprinkles and both chocolate and vanilla frosting dyed different colors. Alina Harris watched her son DJ, 3, lick some of his toppings before he carefully placed them on his cookie.

She said he did the same thing when they made a gingerbread house together for Christmas.

“He licked all the candy he put on his gingerbread house,” she said. “He had to taste it before decorating it.”

Some of these cookies were topped with drink umbrellas from the “mocktails” table. Children were able to make some tasty recipes — like a “New Year Sunrise” with orange juice, sugar-free lemonade, grenadine and fruit slices — or come up with their own concoctions using provided ingredients.

“It’s just to have fancy drinks that they normally wouldn’t be able to have — a different kind of drink for a special occasion,” Ward said.

Children danced with their parents to family-friendly covers of songs by Bruno Mars and other catchy tunes. Balloons bounced around as parents got pictures of their children in the party hats that they made themselves.

Others made their own firework art with strips of toilet paper rolls. The children gently dabbed the strips in green, red and blue paint, then pressed them on construction paper for explosive designs.

“It’s really neat. They have all these different activities for the children,” said Angela Sorce with her daughters, Samantha, 2, and Rebecca, 3, along with nieces and nephews. Her oldest busily painted fireworks. “The library does a great job with children’s events.”

By the end of the party, family spirits were successfully lifted, just in time for 2019.

“It went great,” Ward said. “We got to ring in the new year at noon and had lots of different age groups participate.”