January 1, 2010 in City

Party arty

Kids get their craft on at their own First Night event
By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Claire Taylor, 2, shows her mom, Sharon Taylor a paper bird she made at Avista Kids Night Out Thursday night in the Spokane Convention Center.
(Full-size photo)

Linnea Cubley wants to get better at multiplication in 2010.

“Most everybody in my class is doing nine times, and I’m only on three times,” said Cubley, 9.

Lily Goodwin, 7, wants to finish writing her first story, titled “Windy Day,” a chapter book about aliens.

Josie Engeland’s New Year’s resolution is to ditch the booster seat required for her to ride in a car.

“I have a few more inches to grow and a few more pounds to gain,” Engeland said. But before any of those goals are put into motion, the 9-year-old and her friends planned a full night of activities at the Avista Kids Night Out downtown Thursday.

To ring in 2010, thousands of children descended on the Spokane Convention Center for a night of music, arts, crafts and dance, followed by a parade on Spokane Falls Boulevard.

In its ninth year, the children’s festival kicked off the official First Night celebration in Spokane. The alcohol-free family celebration features hundreds of performances and activities at downtown venues. The night concludes with a fireworks display at Riverfront Park.

“It’s a really popular event. The last time we were a little overwhelmed,” said Myra Parker, who brought her 4-year-old daughter, Katana Lasarte, downtown for the kids’ events.

Parker was pleased to find that this year’s children’s activities were in one place, a Convention Center ballroom. “She’s still pretty little, so it makes it nice not to have to go outside,” where it was snowing Thursday night, Parker said.

Dressed in a pink princess costume, Katana was ready for this year’s themed event, “In the Land of Make Believe.” She was busy at a craft table called the Queen’s Garden, where children assembled fairy wings. Other tables included the Enchanted Forest and the Mad Hatter’s Workshop, where children made crowns and tiaras.

At another table, children made musical instruments in preparation for the parade.

For the first time, the children’s event featured streaming video between the Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and the activities at Kids Night Out, said First Night Executive Director Chris Martin.

About 40 children and their families – who because of medical treatments were not able to come downtown – could see the folks milling about the center stage and hear the music. First Night organizers provided volunteers and craft materials at the hospital.

“We want to find a way to engage as many people in the community as we can,” Martin said. “With technology we are able to do that in new ways.”

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