Kids ring in the new year in afternoon event

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Hours before the clock was due to strike midnight to welcome 2017, a number of children were already celebrating the new year in an event geared toward them.

Dillon Wright, 3, plays air hockey on Saturday at Play Day in Farmington. The business organized a Noon Year’s Eve Party for children.

Julie Hjorth, of Farmington, brought her two daughters to the Noon Year's Eve Party at Play Day, a children's indoor playground located at 1601 N. Dustin Ave.

"I think it's great because then they don't have to stay up until midnight," Hjorth said.

She added it was a good way for the girls to vent some energy, as well as for them to mark the new year with the balloon drop at noon, she said.

Owner Danie Lambson said she organized the event as an opportunity for children to celebrate the new year with their families.

"We're counting down to noon instead of midnight," Lambson said adding prizes inside the balloons ranged from candy to free and discounted admission passes.

Admission for today'sSaturday's event cost $9 per child, which also served as an all-day pass. Adults were admitted free.

Karmen DiGiacomo, 4, center, rides in a toy car Saturday during a New Year’s event for children at Play Day in Farmington.

Farmington resident Heather Robinson watched her three daughters climb the inflatable double-slide, bouncy castle.

"They will not make it to midnight, so I thought it'll be fun for them to have their own kids' New Year's Eve," she said. "It's something special they can do with other little kids."

This is the first new year celebration for her 7-month-old son, Henry Robinson, adding to the celebration.

"A lot of firsts for him," she said with a smile.

Robinson's oldest daughter, Arianna Robinson, showed a festive mood by wearing a turquoise "Happy New Year" crown.

Balloons fall on Saturday after a countdown to the new year is completed as part of the Noon Year’s Eve Party for children at Play Day in Farmington.

"It's about when 2016 turns into 2017," the 8-year-old said when asked about the meaning behind the holiday.

Kaycee DiGiacomo was visiting from Colorado Springs and brought her children to the event after reading about it on social media.

"It seems fun because kids are supposed to be in bed when the new year hits, so it's something fun for them to do," DiGiacomo said.

When the clock moved closer to noon, the children started gathering underneath clear plastic bags that held balloons.

Their conversations soon transitioned into a countdown, and after the balloons were released, some children reached for the decorations while others waited, then picked up balloons from the floor. Afterward, they started popping balloons by stepping on them or asking their parents for help in order to find out what prize was inside.

Among those enjoying the fun was Dillon Wright, 3.

Arianna Robinson, 8, plays an electronic game on Saturday during the Noon Year’s Eve Party for children at Play Day in Farmington.

"I threw it to people," Dillon said about the balloon drop.

He added that his favorite colors are red, yellow and gold, so he was a little sad there were no red balloons. But he enjoyed the event by playing air hockey.

"It was a good way for the kids to join the fun," said his mom, Amanda Wright.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.