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First Night: New Year's Eve 5K Continues as Community Tradition

by on December 31, 2013 9:51 AM

The First Night State College 5K Resolution Run continues to be one of the most popular events in the day-long New Year's Eve celebration.

First Night Executive Director Rick Bryant says roughly 1,000 runners and walkers participate. He says the event is popular in part because it is a rare nighttime run. It's also a big hit because many participants dress in costume.

Get ups range from cow costumes to tuxedos to firefighter gear to swim wear.

"You just see everything imaginable," says Bryant.

A plaque will be offered to the participant with the best costume.

The costumes make it an entertaining time for spectators, too.

"Even if you're not a runner, it's a good time to come out on First Night to see people in costumes," says Bryant.

The 5K starts at 6:30 p.m. on the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street.

The registration is fee is $18 for runners 19 and younger; and $28 for runners over 19.

Runners can register on race day from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church basketball court.

For more information contact First Night State College at 814-237-3682. Results will be available at

The race is co-sponsored by Nittany Valley Running Club and Mount Nittany Health.

First Night is a massive, family-friendly downtown New Year's Eve celebration that features events from 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 to midnight on Jan. 1. This year is the 20th anniversary of the event in State College, which is modeled after a celebration that started in Boston in 1976.

Nearly all outdoor festivities are free. A $10 button allows access to all indoor performances and concerts. Click HERE for more information.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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