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Bitter blast greets First Night revelers - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bitter blast greets First Night revelers

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It is cozy and lively at Burlington's First Night indoor venues, but at the 19 outside spots, participants are bundling up.

As thousands of people flock to Burlington's downtown for the day and evening of festivities, some say they are calling it an early night due to the chilly weather.

"With the snow coming down we are not sure how much we are going to get, so we want to get home before it gets dark outside to make sure we get home safely," Paul Lenahan said.

This year marks the 31st First Night celebration in the Queen City to welcome in the New Year. The festivities include more than 100 performances, fireworks and a dragon parade.

"We've enjoyed Circus Smirkus, we've enjoyed the dances, the face painting for the kids, and we are going to go to the fireworks and the comedy shows," Judy Emmons said.

Emmons worries about her 11-year-old daughter and her friend being out in the cold, but says they have been jumping from one building to another to stay warm.

"We just keep them dressed in layers, make sure they have hats and mittens on, and we are going into the buildings to warm up-- and lots of hot cocoa!" Emmons said.

With temps hovering around 10 degrees, doctors warn First Night-goers that cold can be dangerous. They advise folks to be very careful not to expose skin.

"So, the first thing is to get inside," advised Dr. Sarah Schlein of Fletcher Allen Health Care. "You can put your fingers-- if you start to notice those changes where they start to turn just that little bit of white color-- in some lukewarm water. But really, if you start to see blisters we need to see you up here because then you are starting to see some skin changes that are going to require medical care."

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