State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Get Ready to Ring in the New Year

by and on December 30, 2014 1:45 PM

Why spend another year on the couch watching the ball drop?

Especially when you can ring in 2015 with friends and family at a daylong celebration, First Night State College.

For those who frequently attend First Night State College, you'll encounter all of the usual favorite activities that take place. And with events starting in the early afternoon, you can even make a day of it. From live performances to more physical activities, there is something sure to please everyone. And with a First Night button, you can experience it all for only $10.

"It's a bargain," says the event's executive director, Rick Bryant. "You get to see all these great performers." Bryant says that with about 50 different entertainment options to choose from, you won't be at a loss for something to do.

While all aspects of First Night make it a unique event, the ice sculptures placed in front of downtown businesses, in Sidney Friedman Park and Mayor Welch Plaza and the giant ice walls in the 100 block of South Allen Street are a special treat and the perfect photo opportunity.

The annual affair has always been touted as a family event, and with lots of child-friendly activities. From children's art and craft workshops to the Grand Procession with papier-mache creatures and African drum playing, everyone will have plenty to do.

Some events, like ice skating at Pegula Ice Arena and part of the Resolution Run, take place on Penn State's University Park campus.

If your 2015 resolution is to be healthier, consider starting on New Year's Eve with the 5k Resolution Run at 6:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear creative, wacky clothing. If you're dressed the craziest, you'll win a prize. Awards will also be given to the fastest runners.

It might be hard to stay healthy that day, however, with the many food choices available at restaurants and cafés in State College. Hanson's Original Kettle Korn will also be for sale from noon to midnight in Sidney Friedman Park, as will Heidi's Strudel and Penn State alumna Mitch Angle's Food For Thought food truck on South Allen Street.

If a romantic night is what you have in store, hop on one of the carriages drawn by Percheron draft horses. During the ride, you'll experience downtown State College in a truly unique way.

Admission to indoor performances will require a 2015 First Night button, which can be purchased for $10 at the following locations: Appalachian Outdoors, Borough of State College Finance Office, Centre County/Penn State Visitors Center, Christian Science Reading Room & Bookstore, Corner Room, Days Inn Penn State, Penn State Federal Credit Union, Pegula Ice Arena, PNC Bank, Pump Station Café, 2000 Degrees, UPS Store, Waffle Shop and Wolf Furniture. Children ages five and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

For more information about First Night State College, visit

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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Brittany is the staff writer for The Centre County Gazette.
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