First Night great time to enjoy talent, reconnect

Friday, December 30, 2011

The weather promises to be relatively mild for this year's First Night activities in downtown McCook, but if you've ever been to one of the events, you know that it's a great time even if it's frigid.

Started by the McCook Young Leaders Group three years ago as an alcohol-free showcase for local talent, First Night is a great tradition now being carried on by the McCook Rotary Club.

Yes, there are some professional performers -- The Throwing Picassos and Gary Weldon at the Fox Theatre for example -- but the local "amateurs" will be hard to distinguish from the professionals.

Rex Nelson will perform guitar music at Brown's Shoe Fit, joined by young local singers Lindi Johnson, Sydney Clapp, Kelsey Siebrandt, Kelsey Collicott and Betsy Hardin -- with Morgan Pearson adding caricature drawing.

Tre Sostre and the Gentlemen's Club will join the Picassos and Weldon at the Fox Theatre.

The High Plains Museum will be a busy place with magic tricks with Alex Roe, a TeePee Talk, jukebox music and performances by the Lounge Lizards and the Saggy Bottom Boys.

Longnecker Jewelry will be the venue for Mountains on the Moon, as well as encores by Sydney Clapp, Kelsey Collicott and Betsy Hardin, Kelsey Siebrandt and the Lounge Lizards.

The McCook Art Guild will be busy with performances by Robin's School of Dance as well as a "make-your-own-mask competition."

There will be plenty of activities for kids at Memorial United Methodist Church, with a coloring contest, entertainment, Andy Hutchins' magic tricks, face painting and Christmas music, followed by pipe organ music and music from Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera.

The climax of the evening will be the midnight ball drop and fireworks display at the Keystone Business Center, which also will be the site for dance demonstrations and a masquerade ball.

Pick up your First Night button -- $6 for adults, $3 for children -- at Brown's Shoe Fit, First Central Bank, High Plains Radio, Hometown Family Radio, Longnecker Jewelry, McCook National Bank and Sehnert's Bakery. You can also order commemorative T-shirts and sweatshirts at the Keystone Business Center, and pick it up at McCook Lettering in a week or two.

We always enjoy getting out and reconnecting with old friends and neighbors at events like the county fair and Heritage Days. It's great to see New Year's Eve has become a time to do that as well.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: