Column: Safe way to celebrate New Years


Commentary by Cindy Benedict

Looking for a fun way for your family to spend New Year’s Eve that is alcohol and tobacco-free? How about a fun and free evening with lots of your friends and neighbors? Let me tell you about a gem of an event called First Night Noblesville, which will be held at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville, and is open to all residents of Hamilton County.

There is so much going on at this New Year’s Eve alternative that I can guarantee you won’t be bored. Look at this line-up:

● Doors open at 7:15 p.m. with more than 100 board games set up for children of all ages to play. There will also be ping-pong, mini basketball and door prizes available throughout the night.

● 7:30 p.m. – Movie show time featuring the romantic comedy “Blended” with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.

● 7:45 p.m. – The kitchen opens with pizza, hot dogs and snacks.

● 9 p.m. – Live music by Jennifer Johnson.

● 10 p.m. – Classic bingo.

● 11:45 p.m. – Live broadcast of the N.Y. Times Square Ball-Drop Celebration.

This is the fourth year of this annual event, but it continues the New Year’s Eve celebration begun by George and Linda Kristo 19 years ago. It is now championed by Jim and Sherry Wafford with help from donors including the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Greek’s Pizzeria in Noblesville, Logan Street Signs & Banners, Noblesville Trophies, The Wafford Theater, Current in Noblesville, the Hamilton County Reporter and Hamilton County Television.

“I really want people to understand that this event is entirely free – you can come and not spend one dime,” explains Sherry Wafford. She and Jim always stress that this is “for the community, from the community” and all are welcomed. They make sure there is something for the very young, and the very young in spirit, who want to ring in the New Year in a family atmosphere.

It takes a lot of resources to make this event a success and they still need volunteers, door prizes and bingo prizes. If you can help, call Sherry at 773-7391. You can learn more at

Thank you to the Waffords, and all of the business sponsors, for letting the entire community ring in 2015 together.

Cindy Benedict is the Community Engagement Manager for the City of Noblesville. She may be reached at 770-2007 or


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