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Carroll children celebrate New Year's at noon

On Thursday, the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library was transformed into the hottest New Year's party for the under-10 set, with bubbles of soap instead of champagne, "Firework" by Katy Perry rather than rockets exploding in the sky, and a kiss from their parents at the stroke of noon.

More than 60 children showed up at the library to party on the final day of 2015 and welcome in 2016, albeit 12 hours early. Similar celebrations were held at the library's Mount Airy and Westminster locations.

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Angie Knight, children's services supervisor at the library, said they wanted children and families to have a way to celebrate the new year that didn't require them to stay up until midnight.

The event began by distributing bags of New Year's goodies including noisemakers, "2016" glasses and party favors. The group heard a story about a bear's New Year's party and then began dancing to hits from MC Hammer and C+C Music Factory.

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After the dancing, the group broke to take part in New Year's crafts, including creating noisemakers, "2016" crowns, firework art pieces and paper clocks. At noon, crafting stopped for the group to watch King Julian — a lemur from the "Madagascar" movie franchise — count down from 10, on the library's large touch-screen television. At the end of the count, balloons dropped from the ceiling, while a confetti cannon blasted out over the group.

Loryn Batson, 9, of Eldersburg, said the confetti was her favorite part, as she picked pieces of the shredded paper from her hair. She said she's had a great 2015.

"I made a new friend this year named Julia," Loryn said. "I hope I make a new friend again next year."

Connor Michael, 4, and his mother, Andrea Michael, of Eldersburg, began playing volleyball with one of the balloons in the corner of the meeting room. Connor said his favorite part of 2015 was going to the beach with his family, building sandcastles and going swimming.

Andrea said she loves having the library nearby to provide these kinds of events for the family.

"We just moved to the area six months ago, and we're always coming to the story times and other events. I'll even come to adult events in the evenings," Michael said. "This is a fun way for us to celebrate together. This is actually our only plans to go out for New Year's Eve. We like just a quiet celebration at home."

As she put the finishing touches on her "2016" crown to wear home, Brynn Harrell, 7, of Eldersburg, said she loves doing crafts and having the opportunity to see her friends and participate in the crafts and story times. She said she hopes 2016 will be even better than 2015.

"My favorite thing I did this year was go to Chicago for a wedding. It was really fun. In the new year I want to go back to Chicago," Brynn said.

410-857-7890

Twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

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