Petawawa welcomes 2018
PETAWAWA – The New Year was warmly welcomed by Petawawa residents Sunday evening, during First Night celebrations held at the Petawawa Civic Centre.
Frigid temperatures forced organizers to cancel the horse-drawn sleigh rides due to concern for the health and safety of both people and horses, but the action inside the Civic Centre remained warm and friendly. Residents of all ages came out to skate, take part in games, or dance the evening away.
The free event kicked off at 6 p.m. with a family skating party in the arena, while hot chocolate and Tim Bits will be provided courtesy of the Petawawa Tim Horton's.
Face painting and balloon animals courtesy of Mr. Dimples were highlights, plus games and a family countdown dance in the upstairs main hall helped get everyone in the spirit of New Year's Eve, with a climactic balloon drop occurring shortly before 9 p.m.
DJ Murray Rutz provided the music upstairs, while Ty Hall and his band performed on the arena ice sheet to entertain skaters.
Colin Coyle, the Town of Petawawa's recreation program director, said this has been a good family event, allowing everyone a chance to celebrate the coming of the New Year together.
“With all the severe weather warnings, we decided to play it safe,” he said, by cancelling the outdoor activities and and keep everyone inside. The fact the Civic Centre was packed with people shows most didn't mind the changes.
“We have a packed house here,” he said, estimating several hundred people have come out to celebrate.
Mayor Bob Sweet said these First Night celebrations have been a great idea, providing an event that parents and kids can come out and enjoy, yet end early enough so people can pursue other New Year's Eve plans if they so wished.
“This has been a huge success, and everybody seems to be having fun,” he said. The mayor thanked all of those people who gave up their New Year's Eve to help run this First Night event.
“I think everyone appreciates what they have done,” Sweet said.