Time to party like it’s 1999

I remember it like it was yesterday. The new year was coming and folks were hoarding all the bottled water, batteries, nonperishable food items and other survival staples they could get their hands on.

The year 2000 was coming — Y2K was on its way.

In case you’ve forgotten, that was when many expected doom and gloom when the year turned from 1999 to 2000. There was a fear that computer systems would not recognize the date and revert back to 1900, instead of 2000, causing big problems. People pulled money out of banks, wouldn’t fly, thought hospitals would shut down and all kinds of crazy things.

Well, 11 years later, we’re all still here and pandemonium didn’t break loose.

I’m not sure what you have planned for New Year’s Eve this year. There are many ways to ring in 2011. For those of you who prefer to go somewhere that night, I have a suggestion — give First Night Canfield a try.

Along with musical entertainment and games for the children, this year’s event has added a few twists, including extended hours and a change in venues.

One of the biggest changes is that activities for the children will be housed in a new location — Canfield Village Middle School. Kid Central has been moved to this location between 6 and 9 p.m.

This venue will feature the familiar “Lights, Music and Big Balls,” sponsored by Jubilee Christian Church, and activities in the gymnasium with gigantic beach balls. Inflatable Bounce units will be located in the second gym, plus roving clowns, magicians, a caricaturist, story tellers, and make-and-take crafts and souvenirs.

Old North Church will act as the hub of musical entertainment. You can enjoy the music even longer this year, as the building will be open until midnight. Young performers can arrive at 6 p.m. to work with Tracy Schuler and friends for a “Once Upon a Time” Disney Tribute workshop and can even perform that night in her shows.

Beginning at 6 p.m., a variety of performances will cover everything from country, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues and show tunes will run continuously. The continues until midnight with two rooms of dancing with the Jim Frank Trio and Dickey White and the All Stars.

Canfield Presbyterian Church will be home to the classical performers. The sanctuary will host the Seraphim Chorus and performances by Harper Kirk, soprano Colleen McNally Harris and organist Dan Laginya. Carol Weakland will perform “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” in her one-woman show. Also performing are String Theory and Tapestries of Ohio.

Lord of Life Lutheran Church will feature the Young Performers Center. This entertainment will feature dance troupes such as Youngstown Connection, Liz Rubino Studios, Ruth’s Robics and Dance and Burkes Irish Step Dancers. JD Eicher and the Goodnights, hot off their southern U.S. tour, Thought the World and others will perform.

The Teen Zone will be located at St. Michael’s Church Family Life Center. From 7-11 p.m., teens can compete in video game tournaments, sponsored by Game On! Salem and Best Buy, gymnasium sports activities sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and more. This event is free to students 18 and under.

For additional details, find First Night Canfield on Facebook or visit www.FirstNightCanfield.com.

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