‘Celebrate Vermillion’ will help area residents ring in the new century

'Celebrate Vermillion' will help area residents ring in the new century by M. Jill Sundstrom Ringing in the new year is a tradition and area residents will continue that tradition with the second annual "Celebrate Vermillion" Dec. 31 at the Coyote Student Center and the DakotaDome on The University of South Dakota Campus.

"Celebrate Vermillion" begins at 7:30 p.m. and will feature fun for all ages.

"We decided to expand the celebration into the Dome this year to give us more room and offer more activities," said Rick Haught, a member of the "Celebrate Vermillion" committee.

Shuttle vans will be running between the two locations, he added.

Activities at the Dome include swimming, basketball contests, "Bouncy Boxing" with inflated gloves, and "Let's Race" (miniature stock car racing).

At the CSC, revelers will enjoy card games (including a bridge tournament), board games, an airplane-making contest, face painting, bingo, making "wish bags," a prize-filled balloon drop, mini golf, ping pong and crafts. A Kids Carnival will feature a fish pond, pin the nose on the clown, mirror maze and bean bag toss.

"Once again, we'll have Randy Hammer spinning tunes in the Lakota Dining Room all night long," Haught said. "The CSC video games and pool tables will also be open and we�ll have ?The Leopard Lounge Karaoke Club' led by sisters Emma Drissen and Bonnie Sorensen."

Snacks and beverages will also be available.

New this year to "Celebrate Vermillion" is a fireworks display at midnight.

"We'll close the activities in the Dome at 11:30 p.m. and shuttle everyone from there back to the CSC," Haught said. "Everyone will be brought together to the field behind the law school where the fireworks will be shot off."

Donations from the city and county, individuals, organizations and area businesses � including First National Bank, Norwest Bank, HyVee, Polaris, CorTrust Bank, First Dakota National Bank, Gateway, First National Bank South Dakota and Community First Bank � helped pull the celebration together.

"The community and its people have been very generous," Haught said.

But volunteers are still welcome to offer their services.

"Anyone who is willing to help that night can call me at 677-5334," Haught said. "We still have lots of volunteer needs."

Admission is $2 per person for a button that can be used at both the CSC and DakotaDome. Once a button is purchased, there is no additional charge for activities at either location.

"Celebrate Vermillion," held for the first time last year, is based on a family-oriented, alcohol-free and tobacco-free celebration.

"It also focuses on involving ourselves," Haught said. "Almost all of the activities give people the chance to celebrate in a hands-on fashion, from making crafts to karaoke and games."

Other "Celebrate Vermillion" committee members are Patty Crowley, Jill Tyler, Gloria Christopherson, Eric Schoh, John Mueller, Emma Drissen, Maryln Harnois, Dan Christopherson, Robert Mayer, Genevieve Evans-Taylor, Tom Schaack, Les Parry, Steve Miller and Angela Halbur-Ramseyer.

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