New Year’s Eve is typically a time to reflect on the last year, set goals for the next, stay up until midnight and celebrate with those you love while you count down to the transition.
For the young and the elderly of Santa Maria, though, sometimes staying awake until the stroke of midnight can be challenging.
“Noon Year” celebrations were held at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum as well as the Elwin Mussell Senior Center for children and seniors to have a chance to ring in the new year 12 hours earlier.
“This is one of our biggest events of the year, because (the Discovery Museum) is the only place in Santa Maria that does Noon Year for kids,” said Amy Blasco, program director of the Discovery Museum.
Executive Director Chris Slaughter said they have been celebrating New Year’s with children in some form for the last 20 years.
“Quality fun time is something we all need and want,” Slaughter said. “This day is all about that: celebrating the New Year together, and seeing the smiles on all of these families’ faces is wonderful.”
A parent of two children who attended the Noon Year celebration, Ami Padilla, of Orcutt, said, “Usually they’re asleep by the time New Year hits. This is important because they get to socialize with other kids and participate in community events.”
Abraham Sagrero, 4, said, “I’ve never counted down. I’m playing and celebrating New Year. I’m excited.”
As the clock drew nearer to noon, children and their families gathered around a screen in preparation for the countdown.
A scene from “Madagascar” appeared and engaged the children in a fun dance to get them excited before moving to the countdown.
“Three, two, one!” each child and parent exclaimed as they reached noon and celebrated with dancing, shouting, noisemakers and apple cider.
This is a portion of an article in the Santa Maria Times. Read the full article here.