Lots of people turned out on Laura England-Biggs’ birthday.
Kids and their parents and grandparents attended. Party hats and treats were part of the festivities.
And then there was the balloon drop.
Actually, the 77 festive folks had assembled for the fourth annual Noon Year’s Eve at Keene Memorial Library.
But Dec. 31 is also England-Biggs’ birthday.
England-Biggs is the children’s librarian and on Tuesday she rang in the New Year amid children, balloons — and lots of noisemakers.
Library patrons were advised ahead of time that the noise volume would increase between 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., when attendees planned to celebrate the New Year and watch a cascade of colorful balloons float from the second floor balcony to celebrants below.
Participants were ready when doors to the library’s main-floor auditorium opened at 11:30 a.m.
Decked out in a tall hat made of red, yellow and blue balloons, England-Biggs kept track of attendees as they steadily filled the room.
“We’ve got a great turnout. It’s only five minutes in and we’re up to 33 people,” England-Biggs said. “We hope they have a good time and eat some cookies and enjoy the balloon drop.”
Attendees immediately got busy decorating paper party hats and coloring pages. They drank lemonade and ate blue or white sugar cookies. One mom later lined up her children against a festive New Year’s backdrop for a photo.
Before long, England-Biggs and other staffers rounded up the revelers and guided them out of the auditorium and into the center of the library’s main level.
Attendees took part in the countdown as staffers and volunteers held black plastic sheets of balloons.
At noon, the balloons — red, blue, pink, purple, green, yellow and white — floated from the second floor to party-goers below.
Parents and grandparents manned their phones, capturing images of the festivities.
The yearly event offers an opportunity for children — who might not get to stay up until midnight — a chance to celebrate the start of 2020.
“We like to celebrate when the kids can be awake for it so they can see the New Year coming,” England-Biggs said.
Gloria Boysen of Fremont attended with her grandson, Jack.
“He likes to do things at the library and he loves books,” Boysen said. “He comes to all the library events. It’s the beginning of a new year and we need to celebrate that.”
Julie Anderson brought her children, 8-year-old Meadow and 6-year-old Ruger, again this year.
“We love our library,” Anderson said. “They always have such fun things for kids to do and make the kids feel involved.”
Meadow especially likes the balloon drop.
“We get to go cuckoo getting the balloons,” she said.
After the balloon drop, library staffers led party-goers in singing “Happy Birthday” to England-Biggs, who didn’t mind sharing her special day.
“I think it’s really awesome,” she said, smiling. “I love celebrating my birthday with the world. Everybody celebrates me every year.”
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