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Kids celebrate the new year at INK

Two parades, magic show ring in 2009

POSTED: December 31, 2008 11:13 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Melissa Templeton, 7, enjoys a magic show by magician Jeff McClure, along with Jacob and Lauren McNeal at Interactive Neighborhood for Kids in Gainesville on Wednesday afternoon during the center's lunchtime New Year's Eve celebration for kids.

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Although most of their bottles were filled with milk, area kids celebrated New Year's Eve as fervently as any after-hours carouser.The young ones had their own daytime celebration at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids on Wednesday, complete with not one but two parades to ring in the New Year.

The festivities gave the younger residents of Hall County a chance to celebrate 2009 before the clock struck bedtime, said Jenny Mask, group coordinator at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids.

"It gives them a chance to experience the New Year celebration since they can't stay up," Mask said.

There were no fireworks at the INK celebration, however, and they likely were not necessary. An afternoon show by the Magical Mr. McClure was enough to create the enchanting ambiance of the annual celebration.

While Jeff McClure fascinated the children with various illusions - for example, turning a balloon into a rabbit named Trixie -- their parents were able to get their own treat with a massage from a local chiropractor, Mask said.

Kids spent most of the day in the various hands-on exhibits of the neighborhood, but commemorated the New Year with a morning and an afternoon parade.

Unlike those who would be celebrating the New Year after dark, none of the midday revelers at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids had any plans to slim down or give up a vice this year.

When asked about her New Year's resolution, 7-year-old Melissa Templeton, still dazzled by the magic show, replied with a blank stare.But Templeton's 4-year-old brother Dylan resolved "to play with my cars and trains" in 2009.

The resolution is one the younger Templeton likely will not have trouble keeping.



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