First Night State College attendees enjoy sculptures, resolutions

mdawson@centredaily.comDecember 31, 2013 

— Penn State seniors Naomi Lazny and Joseph Cerini shared a kiss after they pinned their New Year’s resolutions to the clothesline sculpture on South Allen Street.

Hers: be the best girlfriend.

“She’s pretty awesome,” said a beaming Cerini, whose resolution of looking more like actor Ryan Reynolds — particularly his abs — was a little more on the humorous side than his girlfriend’s.

He quickly resolved to write a new one, one more in line with the solemnity of his girlfriend’s wish.

Lazny and Cerini were among the crowd who braved the 20-degree cold Tuesday as part of First Night, State College’s version of a New Year’s Eve celebration and a family-friendly affair with entertainment and activities.

The annual attraction is known for the ice sculpture displays on South Allen Street and at Sidney Friedman Park — and its numerous ways to express resolutions.

“I love it,” said Lazny, a regular First Night attendee who grew up in State College. “It’s a great tradition. It’s great to come here with him.”

One of the ice sculptures that was the center of attention was one that resembled a bear and had bench seating — and even some padding so that the cold surface wasn’t so inhospitable to picture-posers.

Cristin Long snapped a picture of her husband, Doug, her stepson Hayden, 13, and daughter Anna, 4.

The toddler was bundled with a coat, gloves, a hat and a fleece blanket. “We brought layers, upon layers, upon layers,” her mother said.

On the other hand, Doug Long and Hayden had a chance to warm up when they ran in the Resolution 5K run in the evening.

In the warmer confines of the State College Municipal Building, resolution-writing and fortune-forecasting for the new year abounded.

Children dropped discs onto a board that resembled the Plinko game from the TV show “The Price is Right.” At the bottom were fortunes.

Seven-year-old Eli Carey got good news, according to the fortune board: He’s in line to “win much money.” Meanwhile, mother Kelly Carey got a good fortune, too, as the board told her she’ll go on a trip.

The Careys said they enjoy the festivities and seeing friends.

And Eli also enjoys the ice sledding sculpture that was across the street at the parklet, though, this time, he passed on it.

“I wanted to do it, but it’s such a long line,” the boy said.

There was no end in sight for the revolving line at the sled sculpture. Kids hopped on sleds, got a push down the slope, and whooshed for the four to five seconds it took to finish the ride.

Matthew Waite, 7, zipped down and had enough momentum to carry him into the hay bales at the end of the course.

He had two words to describe the ride:

“Very fast,” he said.

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