'Celebrate Vermillion' has something for all by M. Jill Sundstrom Ringing in the new year is a tradition, but Vermillion residents have the opportunity to participate in a new kind of celebration Dec. 31 at the Coyote Student Center on The University of South Dakota campus.
�Celebrate Vermillion� runs from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and will feature fun for all ages.
A planning committee has been working together in Vermillion since September to formulate the event that will include a children�s carnival with face painting, balloon animals, a fish pond, board games, bridge playing, bingo, miniature golf, karaoke, music and dancing with Randy Hammer, a giant Twister game, a prize-filled balloon drop at about 11 p.m., movies and story telling for children and cookie decorating. Snacks and beverages will also be available.
Admission is $2 for youth under 18 and $3 for adults. The maximum charge per family will be $8. Proceeds will be used to defray costs and build up a fund for future celebrations.
�Celebrate Vermillion� is designed to be a family-oriented, alcohol-free and tobacco-free celebration.
�We�re not looking to change the tradition of New Year�s Eve celebrations,� said committee member Rick Haught, CSC director. �We just want to provide an option for celebration that�s not currently available.�
Donations from area businesses and organizations helped pull the celebration together. But volunteers are still welcome to offer their services.
�If people would like to volunteer, they can call me at 677-4393 or 624-4902,� said John Mueller, associate director for operations at CSC, another �Celebrate Vermillion� committee member.
�We�re extremely happy about how this came together,� Mueller added. �We�re grateful for the support from the community and we�re looking forward to putting on a quality event where everyone will have a good time.�
Other committee members included Les Parry, manager of USD Book and Supply, Bob Mayer, superintendent of Vermillion Public Schools, Tom Schaack, vice-president and manager of First National Bank, Genevieve Evans-Taylor, USD Student Activities, Jill Tyler and her husband Rev. Steve Miller of the United Church of Christ and president of the Ministerial Association.
�There is so much to be gained by joining with family and community to celebrate the coming of the new year,� Mueller said. �We just wanted to create that opportunity.�