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First Night State College to Kick off New Year with Alcohol-Free Events

by on December 22, 2010 7:00 AM

With the students gone for holiday break, downtown is as sleepy as ever. But next week those streets will be buzzing once again, as locals celebrate the end of a year at First Night State College.

The alcohol-free, kid-friendly celebration starts at 10 a.m. Dec. 31 as towering blocks of ice are transformed into 79 detailed sculptures. The larger sculptures can be found on the 100 block of South Allen Street, while the smaller ones will be located in Sidney Friedman Park, on the municipal building plaza and in front of sponsoring businesses and churches downtown.

The day continues with several kid-friendly events, including arts and crafts workshops, a performance by a comedy juggler, a puppet show, and a dress-up story theater that involves plenty of audience participation. And throughout the afternoon and evening,  State College churches will come alive with jazz, classical, bluegrass and other musical genres.

A few highlights of the event (be sure to check for a complete schedule):

  • At 6:30 p.m. more than 600 participants will gather on the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street for  the 5K Resolution Run, produced in conjunction with the Nittany Valley Running Club.
  • Alan Sands, a comedy hypnotist and third-generation performer, will entertain at the State College Municipal Building at 7, 8:30 and 10:15 p.m. “The comment most heard after an Alan Sands show is I laughed so hard it hurt!” said Diane Bloom, director of development for First Night State College.      
  • The State High Jazz Band alumni will perform at the State Theatre at 8 p.m.

Most performances and workshops require a First Night button (with the exception of children under 5). Single buttons cost $8 and can be purchased at the following locations:

  • Appalachian Outdoors – 123 S. Allen St., State College
  • Borough of State College Finance Office – 243 S. Allen St., State College
  • Centre County/Penn State Visitors’ Center – 800 E. Park Ave., State College
  • Christian Science Reading Room – 218 S. Allen St., State College
  • Corner Room – 100 W. College Ave., State College
  • Dairy Queen (Bellefonte) – 101 S. Allegheny St., Bellefonte
  • Days Inn Penn State – 240 S. Pugh St., State College
  • Old State Clothing – 101 E. Beaver Ave., State College
  • Penn State Federal Credit Union – 1937 N. Atherton St., State College, and 123 Amberleigh Lane, Bellefonte
  • Penn State Ice Pavilion – Pollock and McKean Roads, University Park campus
  • Perkins Family Restaurant – 1661 S. Atherton St., State College
  • PNC Bank – 1601 S. Atherton St., State College; 122 E. College Ave, State College; and 1408 N. Atherton St., State College
  • Pump State Café – 103 Boal Ave., Boalsburg
  • 2000 Degrees – 202 W. College Ave., State College
  • UPS Store – 19 Colonnade Way, State College
  • Waffle Shop – 1610 W. College Ave. and 1229 N. Atherton St., State College
  • Webster’s Bookstore Café – 121 S. Fraser St., State College
  • Wolf Furniture – 128 Valley Vista Drive, State College

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Michele Marchetti is a freelance writer and the former managing editor of Prior to moving to State College, she spent more than 10 years writing for national magazines. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Glamour, U.S. News & World Report, Runner's World, Good Housekeeping, Working Mother, Yoga Life and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Follow her on Twitter at or contact her at [email protected]
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