Children's Museum of La Crosse hosts Countdown to Noon event

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There were more than 275 people in attendance, according to event organizers.

The event is a chance for families to ring in the new year together in a family-friendly way, said Dene Mosier, executive director of the discovery center.

Kids under one get in for free, otherwise tickets are $15.

Daijah Watterson, 5, of Hyde Park, was running around the room, scooping up balloons and stuffing them under her arm.

"[It's something] the kids really, really enjoy", Knight said, and this year was no exception.

Megan Lojewski said she and her family didn't plan on staying up until midnight so the event was a good option.

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Some of the youngsters calmly toasted the New Year by clinking plastic glasses filled with apple cider, while many others raucously pounced on the fallen balloons to pop as many as possible during what can only be described as a full-on frenzy. "So I think it's great the kids get their own special party and have a fun time".

The event runs from 10 a.m.to 1 p.m. and is included in the price of admission to the zoo. They then handed out more than 100 balloon rockets at 11 a.m. and let the kids shoot them off.

As the kids and families moved around, some stopped to dance to the music or play an impromptu game of tag.

As with the widely watched New Year's Eve event in New York's Times Square, the noontime celebration culminated in a ball drop.

"It's just fun", said Linda Gallagher, who brought her 3-year-old son William Taylor for the third straight year.

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