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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane rings in the New Year in First Night fashion

Celia Peirce of Missoula tried on her mask during the New Year’s Eve masquerade party at Zola in Spokane on Thursday, December 31, 2015. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Celia Peirce of Missoula tried on her mask during the New Year’s Eve masquerade party at Zola in Spokane on Thursday, December 31, 2015. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The weather outside was a little frightful Thursday night, but that didn’t stop people from putting on their party hats and ringing in the new year.

“Weather is a consideration every year,” First Night executive director Gina Campbell said. But, “Spokanites, they’re not sissies.”

The Spokane Convention Center was bustling early in the evening as families turned out for Kids Night Out events. The hat-decorating table was doing a booming business, and the Lewis and Clark High School Titanium Tigers robotics club was there to let kids marvel over a robot the teens built themselves.

The robotics group was invited back for the second year in a row because organizers believe art and science are both important, Campbell said. “We think there’s a little bit of art in science and a little bit of science in art,” she said.

The robot on display Tuesday was built to grab and stack empty milk crates, robotics club president Luke Laxton said. Every year, high school teams across the county are told what task that year’s robot must perform and are given six weeks to build it.

Eight-year-old Michael Hawkinson built his own robot out of a paper cup, empty spool, sticks and a marshmallow. Each child who made one was given the chance to put their creation through its paces on a racetrack.

“He did pretty good,” Hawkinson said. “He crashed a couple of times.”

His mother, Monika Hawkinson, said she was glad to see all the crafts and entertainment for kids. “Otherwise, I don’t think we would have come down,” she said.

The always-popular dream catcher was there for people to hang tags with their hopes and wishes for 2016 written on them in everything from elegant handwriting to a childish scrawl. There were the usual wishes for a boyfriend, grandchildren and puppies, but one 4-year-old boy wrote that he wanted to be taller.

Other notable wishes included, “I want to survive the zombie apocalypse” and “I wish to fly.”

But one youngster had a far simpler goal.

“I hope there are fireworks,” the child wrote.

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