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State College gears up for First Night 2013

by on December 27, 2012 12:06 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Ice sculptures, musical performances and a grand procession? It’s beginning to look at lot like New Years in downtown State College.

The 2013 First Night State College will kick off its 17th year beginning at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. While many of the displays, entertainment, food and merchandise this year may be familiar to some, the First Night staff plan to introduce something new this year. Called the “resolution sculpture,” this plywood structure will give First Night-goers the opportunity to write down some of their “bucket list” items, said Rick Bryant, executive director of development for First Night State College.

The sculpture, which resembles big black boards, Bryant said, is meant to be “fun and engaging.” The resolution sculpture will be available to the public in the arcade at Schlow Centre Region Library on Dec. 31, he said.

Also new this year at the library will be a balloon-ologist, as Bryant refers to him, who will make balloon animals and characters.

Bryant said planning First Night requires the work of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts staff plus about 50 volunteers.

“Most of those people are volunteers on the day of the event,” he said.

According to its website,, First Night State College is known for its displays of carved ice. Large ice sculptures will be located on the 100 block of South Allen Street, while smaller ones can be found at Sidney Friedman Park, on the Municipal Building Plaza and in front of sponsoring businesses and churches downtown.

First Night also features musical and vaudeville performances in downtown churches and venues. Some music genres include jazz, bluegrass, folk, classical and bagpipe, according to the website.

Other First Night activities and events include carriage rides, the 5K Resolution run and a variety of vendors.

Bryant said those interested in more information can visit the website, First Night’s Facebook page or Twitter feed.

“We hope people come out and have a great time,” he said.

Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
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