Children head into new year at annual Imagine Nation event

by JAMILA YOUNG

STAFF WRITER

The Imagine Nation was packed as children children celebrated New Year’s Eve a little earlier than is usual.

The celebration kicked off in the morning at 10 a.m., with a 12 p.m. ball drop. As children entered the building, they were greeted by event correspondents asking them about their New Year’s Eve plans. They also chose party favors for the event.

Carol Emond was one of the volunteers who gave out the party favors.

“It’s amazing how many people come,” said Emond. “There’s so much for the children. It’s a fun day.”

Rachel Szostek, the outreach/event coordinator at Imagine Nation, was experiencing her first New Year’s Eve event with Imagine Nation.

“This morning we were here at 7 a.m. It’s been a lot of people working together to make this happen,” said Szostek. “I’ve been hanging out with the DJ, and helping him do limbo. I’ve been helping clean up the kitchen. My hands have been everywhere.”

There were various activities taking place such as a sock skating ice rink, an indoor snowball fight, and arts & craft stations. A new addition to the annual event was the dumpling-making station, facilitated by food coordinator Priscilla Harnesk.

“I think it went great. We had 11 kids; they were all encrusted in what they were doing,” said Harnesk. “They had a good time. I think it was a success.”

Shirin Pagels of Southbury attended the event with her four children. For them, the event is a New Year’s Eve tradition having attended for eight years.

“It’s a fun museum. I love the change over the years,” said Pagels.

Pagels’s children said they loved the blue foam blocks, and the snowball fight area.

Caroline Spencer of Meriden attended the event for the second time with her family from Meriden. She said she makes the event a priority, and takes time off from work to be able to attend.

“Its fun, it’s interactive; something different,” said Spencer.

Jenny Abel from Collinsville attended the event with her son. She said it was a once in a lifetime experience.

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