Families head to St. Petersburg for kid-friendly New Year's celebration

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the 21st year, families are gathering at First Night in St. Petersburg for the annual New Year's celebration along the waterfront.

Dozens of activities are planned for the evening for people of all ages.

"It's really just a venue for a lot of local artists who want to be discovered, to show their art, to perform, play music, and for everyone in the community to enjoy," said Leslie Curron, Chair of First Night.

For young, aspiring artists, the local stage doesn't get much bigger than First Night.

The talented group, Sound Parlor will ring in the new year as the headline act on the youth stage.

"Two years ago we were opening up for someone, and now we're playing the main one, so it's going to be good," he said.

Also new this year: the recreated Benoist to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first commercial flight that started in St. Petersburg.

Founder of Fantasy of Flight, Kermitt Weeks, spent the last year building the aircraft just like they would 100 years ago.

He planned on flying it during a celebration on New Year's Day, but his team ran out of time. Instead, it'll be on display and Weeks will talk about the plane's rich history.

"My New Year's resolution is to fly the airplane across Tampa Bay in 2014.

Speaking of history, for the first time in the event's 21-year run, a main piece of the landscape is off limits.

"The pier is not here this year so that was a little bit of a concern for me but I think they geared it up differently," said Lisa O'Geary, one of the dozens of vendors at the event.

Some of activities for kids begin at 4 p.m., but most start at 7 p.m. and run through midnight.

There will also be two fireworks displays -- one at 8 p.m. for the kids and another at midnight.

If purchased at the gate, tickets are $15 for adults or $10 dollars for kids 6 to 12 years old. Kids under 5 are free.

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