Local First Night promises to be a memorable event

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The presents have all been opened, some of the toys are already broken, and shoppers are lining up at the service counter to make exchanges.

Time for a post Christmas letdown?

Not necessarily.

Yes, the big day is here and gone for most of us, but thanks to local organizers, McCook-area residents have another growing tradition to look forward to in a few days.

McCook's fourth First Night celebration promises to be another memorable, family-friendly New Year celebration in downtown McCook.

And, if paying those Christmas bills has left you strapped, you won't find a better entertainment bargain than the $6 First Night button ($3 for children) available at McCook National Bank and Sehnert's Bakery.

For that, you get your choice of entertainment and events at several downtown venues.

At the Fox Theatre, magician and ventriloquist Mike Niehaus entertains beginning at 6:30 at the Fox Theatre, followed by the electro-rock group My Starving Lion, and musician Joe Warneke.

We have to admit being a little partial to the local talent that will take the stage at the High Plains Museum -- musician Jason Van Pelt, magician Alex Roe, musicians Jerry Lynn and Darrin Carry, the Saggy Bottom Boys and the Rambali Girls. Mike Niehaus will close out the night at the museum, 10:30 p.m., and other fun participation events are planned there as well.

The Keystone Business Center, beginning at 4:30 p.m., will be the site for an eating contest, face painting, children's games, performances by the Dirty Garage Band, Johnny Scott, Alex & Helen and Olivia Taylor, an early New Years celebration for kids at 9 p.m. and a dance until 11:30 p.m. by Divine Productions.

The McCook Arts Guild plans a Kid Jazz Dance class beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Make Your Own Mask, a ballet class and belly dance demonstration.

In between, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., stop by the model railroad display downstairs just north of Sehnert's Bakery.

Of course, we're hoping for a big snowstorm so we don't have to pay for those Christmas presents -- via the Chamber of Commerce "Let it Snow" campaign. Even if it does snow, however, downtown McCook will be a great place to be New Year's Eve.

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