COLUMBIA — In addition to a new name, this year's Columbia Eve Fest — formerly First Night Columbia — has adopted new events and a new layout.
The New Year's Eve festivities will be held in a new block-party style on Ninth Street between Elm and Locust streets, Jane Accurso, Eve Fest director, said. Tickets for the event went on sale Monday.
"There's a lot going on in a small location," Accurso said. "Everyone will be able to enjoy the event.”
New additions to the festivities include telescope viewings from the Central Missouri Astronomical Association on the Missouri Theatre rooftop, silent films in the Missouri Theatre, food trucks in the Shakespeare's Pizza parking lot and seven venues with activities and entertainment in the Missouri United Methodist Church, Accurso said.
Eve Fest begins with a 5K run hosted by the Columbia Track Club at 4 p.m. in front of Cycleextreme.
"It gets everyone into the spirit of new beginnings and a new start to the year," Accurso said.
Karen Chandler, superintendent of recreation and community programs at the city Parks and Recreation Department, is a former director of the events. During her 18-year involvement, she has seen the event evolve.
"This year we are changing the name and shaking it up a bit,"Chandler said.
The block party style will consolidate the event, she said, making walking easier with everything in one place. Chandler said there will also be vendors and live performances.
Tickets are on sale at all Gerbes stores in Columbia, the Activity and Recreation Center and Columbia Parks and Recreation. Tickets are $6 if purchased ahead of time and $8 at the door, with children 6 and under getting free admission, according to the Columbia Eve Fest website.
Chandler said the event depends heavily on the weather, volunteers and the day of the week on which New Year's Eve falls.
"It's a great way for people to spend New Year's Eve," Chandler said."It's an alternative. Typically New Year's is an adult event, so this brings a family atmosphere to the holiday. It's all about the arts, culture and fun."
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