WILMINGTON — On a crisp and clear Saturday morning, children from around the Wilmington area waited in the playground yard of the Children’s Museum, clutching apple-juice cocktails and fistfuls of confetti and awaiting the big countdown.
As Kathleen King, director of operations, served as master of ceremonies for the Children’s Museum’s “New Year’s Noon,” children and their parents kept an eye of the clock.
“Most of these kids probably aren’t allowed to stay up until midnight,” King said, “or they might not make it. This is a great way for them to celebrate with their families.”
Earlier in the morning, children made New Year’s Eve crowns and streams, outside they rode a New Year’s bus and downstairs they played with strange looking New Year’s slime at the museum’s science exhibit. But it was clear from the crowd’s energy what the children were waiting for.
King selected 10 volunteers to assist in the official countdown from 10 (although there was a minor mix-up between numbers two and three). After the countdown hit one, the crowd roared “Happy New Year” and the air was filled with the kazoo-ish call of ubiquitous party horns.
As confetti was still falling from the sky, the Museum’s Executive Director Jim Karl told Port City Daily, “it’s just so great to see the children get to celebrate with their family. New Year’s Eve isn’t usually thought of as a family holiday, so we’re giving families a chance to have that experience. And of course it’s a safe space, and a fun space.”
Karl said the Museum had tried not to overthink the experience, “we just wanted to give kids the celebration they’ve been missing out on. It was a simple idea. But sometimes simple ideas are the best ones.”
Below: (Video slideshow of the festivities – photo and video by Benjamin Schachtman; “Auld Lang Syne,” in the public domain, performed by the U.S. Marine Corps Band.)