The 19th annual First Night River Bend, a night of family fun, entertainment and activities on New Year’s Eve at the Godfrey campus of Lewis and Clark Community College, will conclude with one fantastic fireworks show at 7 p.m.

The fireworks display will be synced with music for the first time this year. Central States Fireworks has promised an excellent display, which is expected to last at least 20 minutes. Hot chocolate, coffee and s’mores will be available for purchase at the outdoor tent, and there will be outdoor seating available for the fireworks display.

Also for the first time, this year’s event will run from 3-7 p.m., exclusively in the newly renovated Hatheway Cultural Center. The new hours were set with young families in mind, and attendees will get to experience the wonders of First Night all under one roof.

Shorter hours do not mean less fun. First Night River Bend guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the magical talents of Master Illusionist Keith Jozsef from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and the music of the Redhead Express and The Walker Family from 5-6:45 p.m. Both acts will appear on the Hatheway stage.

Throughout the entire event, the Hatheway Gallery will also be abuzz with a variety of activities including face painting, hat making and other hands-on happenings. Casey the Entertainer will be stilt walking and juggling, while Miss Molly and Mr. Flakes create delightful balloon art.

First Night familiars Bill Michel and Mike Dooley, both caricaturists, will be set up in the Hatheway foyer to capture the smiling faces of First Night.

First Night buttons are on sale at Party Magic and all Liberty Bank locations. Buttons are $10. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

First Night River Bend is an alcohol-free, family-oriented New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts, featuring live music, juggling, magic and activities for people of all ages. First Night River Bend 2014 is a community project of Lewis and Clark Community College in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation, the village of Godfrey, WBGZ and The Telegraph.

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