Celebrate Vermillion on Dec. 31

Celebrate Vermillion on Dec. 31
As in years past, a dedicated group of Vermillion residents are planning an entertaining way to ring in the new year.

The DakotaDome on The University of South Dakota campus will be transformed from an athletic and educational facility to a virtual playground for area citizens of all ages to enjoy. The evening will feature a myriad of activities sure to entertain and inspire this New Year's Eve.

The idea is based on a family-oriented, alcohol- and tobacco-free celebration. The first Celebrate Vermillion was held Dec. 31, 1998, to ring in the year 1999.

"The committee for the 2007 Celebrate Vermillion event has been meeting since September, planning the activities associated with this event," said Anne Tereshinski, USD Events Coordinator and co-chair of the Celebrate Vermillion Committee. "This family-friendly event will be extremely fun for all ages. A few of the activities include an 18-foot giant slide, laser hunting, lane bungee, children's carnival, pitching and softball throw, swimming, putt-putt golf, a mechanical bull, bingo, local high school bands and many other activities from 7:30 p.m. to midnight."

Mayor Dan Christopherson has been a Celebrate Vermillion committee member since its inception. "This program provides a great community service and is a wonderful opportunity for a family to usher in the new year. Celebrate Vermillion could not take place without the incredible support of The University of South Dakota. Each year, the university administration has approved full use of the DakotaDome facilities, not to mention the time and talents of several USD staff members on the planning committee to ensure the success of this community event," Christopherson said.

"We strive to offer activities for all age groups and provide an alcohol- and smoke-free environment for family entertainment. I invite everyone from surrounding communities to join with Vermillion citizens at the DakotaDome on Dec. 31 to celebrate the new year," concluded Christopherson.

The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the fun-filled evening is open to the public. The committee has worked hard to collect sponsorship money in order to produce this great event with a minimal charge of $3 at the door. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Celebrate Vermillion sponsors include The University of South Dakota, Broadcaster Press, City of Vermillion, First Bank & Trust in Vermillion, First Dakota National Bank, Hy-Vee Food Store, Polaris Industries, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo. Additional sponsors and contributors include Casey's General Store, Civic Council, CorTrust Bank, Dakota PC Warehouse, Pamida, Valiant Vineyards and W.H. Over Museum.

John Mueller, building engineer assistant with Facilities Management at USD, came up with the idea almost 10 years ago. Mueller is proud to continue to be a part of this important community event. "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 want to create that opportunity."

Celebrate Vermillion Committee members include Anne Tereshinski, co-chair; USD events coordinator, Jennifer Murphy, co-chair; USD events scheduling, Devon Devoux, co-chair, pastor of Cornerstone Church, Jeanette Hubert; USD athletics, John Mueller;USD facilities management, Ron Avery; Hy-Vee, Lenni Billberg; Vermillion School District, Lauren Tolsma and Ryan Baedke; Vermillion Parks and Recreation Department, John Prescott, City Manager, city of Vermillion; Dan Christopherson, mayor, City of Vermillion; Mary Merrigan, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, and Paddy Rosdail, Vermillion School District.

As with any event of this size, the need for volunteer help from the community is paramount to the success of the evening. Any community member who is interested in volunteering at Celebrate Vermillion is encouraged to contact the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company at 624-5571 or USD Event Planning at (605) 677-5334 or eventplanning@usd.edu.

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