Horse-drawn carriages roamed the streets and music could be heard from the sidewalks as Columbians walked among 12 downdown venues at First Night 2004.
At the Missouri United Methodist Church, children danced while fiddlers played. One youngster ran frantically back to his parents worried that there were no other partners he could take to dance with him. Meanwhile, the other children promenaded round and round.
The Missouri Theatre was nearly half-full while the Hilary Scott Band performed its unique sound with blues, folk, rock, pop and classical influences. And the Cherry Street Artisan smelled like cinnamon and spices while a beatnik-style poetry jam was performed on stage.
Craig Weins and his wife, Mary, took their two children, Mallory, 8, and Karch, 6, to Parker Funeral Home’s garage for hot chocolate and to catch a few minutes of the Independence Bowl. The place was nearly empty with the Missouri Tigers trailing most of the first half and people out enjoying other First Night locations.
The family was warming up after a ride around town in a horse-drawn carriage. They had just arrived at the Armory Sports Center, where the children made hats and were headed to the First Christian Church to hear a vocal and percussion performance by Barry Bernstein.
Karch wanted to stay awake to welcome in the new year and shouted, “I’m nocturnal, I’m nocturnal!”
The Weins family didn’t think the kids could make it until midnight and planned to end the night after the fireworks show for kids at 9:45 p.m.