Although still about three weeks away, plans for First Night Riverbend have been in the works since last year's event. First Night celebrations are alcohol and drug-free New Year's Eve celebrations, and Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey will once again be hosting the event this year.
There is a belly dancing group called Swords and Roses, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band called Bourbon Legend that includes several members of Back in the Saddle, and First Night co-organizer Gail Drillinger says a popular entertainer makes his return this year - Steve Gryb, the Pied Piper of Percussion.
The early fireworks display that made its debut a couple of years ago was so well received, it is being brought back again this year. It fires off at 9pm. Staples of the event include live music, face painting, magicians, and other family-oriented entertainment. For more information, to volunteer, or to order tickets, call 468-7500, or log on to this story at AltonDailyNews.com for a link to the First Night website. Tickets go on sale Monday.