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New Year's Eve fest for families returns to Alerus Center

Celebrate the Night is returning to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks tonight bringing an alcohol-free, family-friendly way to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Celebrate the Night

Celebrate the Night is returning to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks tonight bringing an alcohol-free, family-friendly way to celebrate New Year's Eve.

The annual event will feature new activities and entertainment this year, as well as old favorites, said Kim Miller, president of the nonprofit Friends of First Night Greater Grand Forks, which organizes the event.

New activities include a rock climbing wall and belly dance lessons.

New on the entertainment bill this year is The Troubadours, a rock and country band, and The Ricks, a "younger music group," along with others, she said.

And, like other years, the event will feature activities from the Dakota Science Center and inflatable games, which are always a big hit, she said.

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The event, which started under the name Celebrate the Night in 2009, is continuing with its goal of providing a family-friendly atmosphere, which is why there will be no alcohol.

Along with the many children's games and activities, Miller said, there will be activities for adults to enjoy as well.

This year, Celebrate the Night will be held in the Alerus Center's meeting rooms and arena, for more space, Miller said.

The event has brought about 2,000 people each year in the past couple of years, and Miller said she expects the same this year. She has already had calls about the event from people from as far as Williston, N.D., and Winnipeg, she said.

"We hope the cold weather won't have an impact (on attendance) this year," she said.

Celebrate the Night was known as First Night from 1994 to 2008, and its top attendance was 10,000 people. First Night was held downtown with event-goers walking from venue to venue. When attendance dropped to 2,000 in 2008, First Night organizers rebooted it as Celebrate the Night and held it entirely indoors for the first time.

Celebrate the Night is from 6 tonight to midnight. Tickets for the event are $6 at Hugo's or Valley Dairy in Grand Forks or at ticketleap.com and $8 at the door.

The event is also still looking for volunteers. Anyone interested can call (218) 230-4595.

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If you go

• What: Celebrate the Night New Year's Eve celebration.

• Where: Alerus Center, Grand Forks.

• When: 6 tonight to midnight.

• Cost: $6 in advance at Hugo's, Valley Dairy or ticketleap.com, $8 at the door.

Other options for New Year's Eve in GF

Here are a few other options to celebrate the new year in Grand Forks:

• Sisters Katy and Hannah Diers will perform original songs and covers on guitars, mandolins and violins 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Rhombus Guys, 312 Kittson Ave. The event is free.

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• Comedian Francy Ray McColney will perform 7:30 p.m. at Muddy Rivers Bar and Grill, 701 First Ave. N., followed at 9:30 p.m. by the Downtown Horns. Tickets for the comedy show are $12 in advance or $14 at the door. No charge for the band.

• A New Year's Eve party for seniors will be held at the Grand Forks Senior Center, 620 Fourth Ave. S. A meal will be served at 5 p.m. followed by entertainment at 6:15 p.m. The event is open to those 55 and older.

Call Haley at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1102; or send email to chaley@gfherald.com .

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