By Janene Scully, Noozhawk North County Editor
Generous helpings of glitter and glue were in use Thursday as dozens of young partiers prepped for the big countdown — to noon.
The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum again hosted a Noon Year’s Eve celebration for youths to ring in 2016, albeit a bit early.
A craft table filled with supplies, including colorful pipe cleaners, sequins, fuzzy balls and more, helped youths ready for the celebration with supplies to make noisemakers, decorate hats and otherwise get set for the new year.
“Our Noon Year’s Eve celebration is an annual tradition where kids and families have a great time counting down to noon with noisemakers that they make themselves, fun hats, cookies and juice and all that good stuff,” said Executive Director Chris Slaughter.
The nonprofit museum geared to children has hosted the Noon Year’s Eve celebration for several years.
“Families need a time to celebrate, ring in the new year. Kids and parents can’t stay up until midnight, so this is a perfect opportunity for kids and their parents to come together, have some fun, countdown to noon and have their own family friendly celebration,” Slaughter added.
Among attendees was Amelia Paulsey, who was carefully adding sequins and glitter to her newly placed glue on her artwork.
“We come here every New Year’s when we’re visiting the grandparents,” said her mom, Kari Paulsey. “It’s really a fun thing to do.”
Her daughters enjoy the opportunity to ring in the new year since they don’t stay up until midnight.
“It’s a great way to celebrate,” Paulsey added.
This year’s countdown came courtesy of a Care Bear’s video, with music to set the scene, as youngsters shook their noisemakers.
In 2016, the Discovery Museum will mark its 20th year as Santa Barbara County’s only children’s museum, Slaughter added.
“We have a lot of new exhibits on the horizon that we’re developing, so you’ll be starting to see that in 2016 and beyond,” Slaughter said. “After two years of revitalization, we’re ready for new exhibits, new programs, so we’re very excited about what 2016 is going to bring.”
The Discovery Museum boasts 40 “please touch” exhibits plus hosts weekly programs and special events in the 13,000-square-foot facility.