Hundreds of families celebrate New Year’s Eve at First Night Jr. in Holyoke

Hampden County

It’s been 21 years since someone came up with the idea of welcoming the new year early at Holyoke’s Heritage State Park.

Hundreds of families made First Night Junior their New Year’s Eve destination on Monday afternoon. Parents were delighted to have their children enjoy a celebration these parents had to forego when they were kids.

“They get a new experience,” Agnes Kowalski said. “We try to do a lot of things around the holiday season, just so they get the experience.”

Snapping a selfie around Mike Rondeau’s newest ice sculpture added a new dimension to First Night Junior. Parents from all over western Massachusetts were only slightly saddened by the lack of a first-night junior when they were kids.

“It’s a little crazy,” Jessica Hoiberg told 22News. “But the kids are having a good time and there are lots to do… It’s been a good afternoon. Long, but good.”

But welcoming the new year just isn’t complete without witnessing the dropping this time-honored tradition.

The children will be fast asleep when the clock strikes midnight. But thanks to this celebration, they won’t have missed celebrating the new year in style.

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