“The” place to be for children this New Year’s Eve will be Downtown Fullerton where a whole host of special activities will be waiting for them as part of the city’s annual “First Night Fullerton” New Year’s Eve party Saturday, Dec. 31.
The “First Night Kids’ Lane” will feature everything from rides to special activities and entertainment. A fireworks show at midnight will cap the event.
Now into its 21st year, “First Night” is an alcohol-free, family oriented celebration featuring dozens of events staged at numerous sites in the streets, sidewalks and buildings of historic downtown Fullerton.
Admission is free, and the festivities start at 7 p.m.
Kids’ Lane activities will include bounce houses, bungee run, an obstacle course, “Robo Surfer,” “Gladiator Jousting,” a Velcro wall, slides, “basketball shot,” the “trackless train,” face painting, caricature art, carnival games and balloon artistry.
Returning this year by popular demand will be the “hybrid” ice skating rink, which will be set up on Harbor Boulevard at Chapman Avenue. The rink’s synthetic surface has the texture and sound of a real ice rink, and guests can bring their own skates or rent a pair.
Tickets for the skating rink will be $7 per person, and will include a 20-minute skating session and skate rentals.
There will also be a stilt walker, Chaz the Unicyclist and a strolling magician to entertain guests young and old.
The Kids’ Lane will be set up on S. Pomona Avenue.
While admission to all the “First Night” activities is free, fee ranging from $2 to $7 will be charged for the children’s rides and activities.
A variety of food booths will be selling items throughout the evening, and most downtown restaurants will be open and are within walking distance of the “First Night” festivities.
The "First Night" program began in Boston in 1976, as a cap to the nation's bicentennial. The event's goal is to broaden public appreciation of the visual and performing arts while offering an alternative to the traditional New Year's Eve celebrations which focus on alcohol and drinking.
There are now several hundred “First Night” cities throughout the United States and Canada. Fullerton was the first California city to offer the event, and is the only Orange County community to present a “First Night” celebration this year.
"First Night Fullerton" is produced by the Fullerton Parks and Recreation Department. Further information may be obtained by calling the Fullerton Museum Center at (714) 738-6545.
Persons requiring special accommodations to attend “First Night” are asked to notify the museum staff prior to Dec. 31.