WINSLOW — Staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year is a long-held tradition. But for some, staying up that late isn’t always easy.

So the Winslow Public Library decided to celebrate the new year a little early Saturday with a “Noon Year’s Eve” party.

Samantha Cote, the youth services and technology librarian at the library on Halifax Street, said Noon Year’s Eve parties started at libraries as a way for families with younger children to still celebrate the new year. She said she saw the idea on Facebook and decided to bring it to Winslow for the first time. From 11 a.m. to noon, parents and children could come for arts and crafts, building noisemakers, decorating party hats, dancing, story time, and snacks and sparkling grape juice. And just like when the clock strikes midnight, they all counted down the final 10 seconds until noon, at which point confetti rained down from the ceiling.

“We advertised it for families, but anyone could come,” she said.

Close to 25 people turned out for the early celebration, including roughly a dozen or more children, ranging from toddlers to middle-school-age children. After hearing a story about New Year’s Eve, Cote then put on some music for the children to dance and rattle hand-built noisemakers to. The songs included the Pharell Williams’ hit “Happy,” and “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen” to close out 2016.

For the families attending, celebrating the new year 12 hours early was fine.

Winslow resident Ginny Brockway said her son goes to the library often, which is what brought them out Saturday. She praised the library for having good events and activities for children to do.

“We’re kind of new to it,” she said.

Jared Delile, also of Winslow, said he and his children came out simply to celebrate New Year’s Eve, just in case his children couldn’t stay up until midnight.

A number of partygoers praised Cote for the work she did, not just in planning this party but in all the events she coordinates.

Dorothy Morse said her family had relocated to Winslow recently from New Hampshire for relatives, and they heard about the party. She said they wanted to check it out. She said they have come to other library events in the past, adding that Cote was “fantastic.”

Celia Morse, age 11, said the events at the library were “good and fun,” and said Cote, whom she called “Ms. Sam,” was a good teacher.

“It’s a nice time for the younger kids to come and have fun,” she said.

Winslow resident Jennifer Greely also praised Cote’s planning, saying she has the best programming.

“This is our second home,” she said.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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