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Burlington celebrates First Night - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington celebrates First Night

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Families got off to an early start at First Night Burlington.

"We went to Circus Smirkus and everybody had a great time," said Sarah McQuillen.

And regulars like Claire Wilcox of Essex were ready to celebrate too. "What I like about it is the variety of activities. It's safe, hopefully, and it's a non-drinking event which is nice," she said.

Monday the annual downtown New Year's tradition turns 30 years. "We started out going when it first started. I think I might have missed the first year. I haven't put them in order so I am not sure,"  Wilcox said.

Wilcox's scarf tells the story of decades of fun.  "Everything from the Tyco drummers, down to Willem Lang, the comedian and all the different people that we have seen, she said.

For others, like "Lady Cats" from the Electric Youth Dance company in St. Albans, it's been a year of firsts. "It's your first time dancing in front of a big crowd and it is just fun to dance with all of the people that you've met over the years," said the group's Myah Laroe.

This year's festivities feature dozens of activities across the city -- from face painting to folk music.

"I think it is just well planned and organized and they have a lot of great acts to draw a lot of people," said Sarah McQuillen.

"I think it is great. Everybody looks forward to it and the numbers get bigger every year here," Claire Wilcox said.

And that's just fine from some of the party's biggest fans

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