Posted 12/29/10 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
New Year’s Eve can be a fun time, but it can also be a scary time, especially for parents. However, one Watford City group has decided to make this New Year’s Eve a little safer for everyone.
The Watford City Youth Association (WCYA) is holding a family friendly New Year’s Eve event at the Watford City Civic Center from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The WCYA, in collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Human Services, is sponsoring the event.
“This event came about because of some state money that was available,” says Garrett Gudmunsen, First Lutheran Church youth director. “In addition to the money from the state, area businesses and organizations were eager to donate money so we could make the event even bigger.”
New Year’s Eve is often associated with alcohol use. Therefore, this New Year’s Eve event is an opportunity for Watford City to take an active role in providing a safe and healthy holiday season.
“The event will have things for all ages, elementary school through adults, and it’s all free,” adds Gudmunsen. “There will be inflatable games, karaoke, food and even a band. It’s going to be a fun and safe environment for the entire family.”
The event, which is open to all ages, is free to get into and participants won’t need any money once they get inside. The event includes free food and drinks, party favors, a live band and door prizes.
“This event will offer a safe place for kids to celebrate the New Year,” comments Gudmunsen. “We do prefer that students younger than seventh grade have a parent with them. And as a safeguard, all of the kids that attend will be asked to sign in and give a phone number. Then if they leave early, their parents will be called to let them know that their child is no longer at the event.”
The New Year’s Eve event is the kick-off for Watford City as a North Dakota Substance Abuse Prevention Targeted Community. Watford City was awarded the designation of Targeted Community in November, following an application submitted by the Watford City Community Coalition. A Targeted Community is a community creating positive change through mobilization and action in the area of substance abuse prevention.
“This event was put together pretty fast, and it is really neat to see the amount of community involvement, especially with the short timeline,” says Gudmunsen. “I think this is going to be a great event and hopefully, something that will become a tradition in Watford City.”