The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 31, 2012

Ringing in the new year: Revelers enjoy variety of activities throughout city

JOHNSTOWN — Little Norah Minor of Johnstown giggled, waved and said hello to everybody as she and her family took a sleigh ride through downtown Johnstown during Celebration Johnstown, the no-cost, family-friendly, alcohol free New Year’s Eve event.

“We loved it,” her mother, Amy, said as she carried the toddler off the sleigh as it boarded more passengers on Locust Street at Central Park.

Norah’s father, Jason, said his daughter got a big thrill from the sleigh ride.

Accompanying the Minors were friends Kristyn Amendola and Patti Price, both of Johnstown.

Greg and Francine Novak of Elton were at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 335 Locust St., listening to Hard Rok, Coco & Joe.

“We came down here to enjoy the music and enjoy a place that is family-oriented,” Greg Novak said, adding that the band was good.

Philip Yarina of Vinco, who was with friends listening to the same band at St. Mark’s, said he has been attending the event for the past four years.

“It’s good entertainment,” he said. “It’s nonalcoholic, so you don’t have to worry about getting busted on the way home.”

Daniel Schofield, a volunteer at St. Mark’s, said they usually get a large crowd at the church.

“Everyone always enjoys themselves here,” he said.

Ellie Johncola, 8, and Eli Johncola, 4, of Westmont, were at the Cambria County Library, 248 Main St., with their parents, Steve and Leah, watching the Classic Clowns of Johnstown entertain.

“It’s cool,” Ellie said about the balloon bracelet that a clown made for her.

Eli said the balloon cat that a clown made for him was awesome.

PoPooree, a clown, said there were many children at the library and that there was much for them to do at other venues as well.

“We just like to interact with the children and adults and make them laugh,” she said.

Kevin Volk of Jennerstown, who was at the library with his family watching his son, Max, play the guitar, said the event is awesome.

“We love it,” he said. “We’re having a great time.”

At First Presbyterian Church, 309 Lincoln St., the sanctuary was packed for Jazz in your Face.

Mark Lazzari, a volunteer at the church, said the musicians are a big draw each year.

“You’ll get people who will come down specifically to see Jazz in your Face,” he said.

Many people also will start off the night by watching them and then going to the other venues, he said.

The event started at 6 p.m. and ended with a fireworks show.

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