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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News
Abby Shumway helps magician Paul Brewer with a rabbit-in-the-hat magic trick at First Night 2007.

PROVO — Utah County families appear to like the idea of celebrating New Year's Eve indoors.

Last year, 11,000 party people — including babies and old folks — turned out for the party at the Provo Towne Centre mall in south Provo, compared to less that 5,000 the year before when the festivities were held outside in the freezing temperatures in downtown Provo.

Scott Henderson, an employee with the Parks and Recreation Department, said, "Last year First Night in the Provo Towne Centre mall attracted an estimated 11,000 people coming and going from 6 p.m. to midnight. We expect the positive experiences from last year to bring even more participants this year. Events and activities have been upsized to accommodate a larger First Night party this year."

Those events include craft activities for children (making beaded key chains, candy sand art items and a sketched bookmark), dancing to three live bands, rock climbing, balloon artistry, tricycle races, karaoke contests, beauty makeovers, an eating contest, game shows, races, inflatables and tattoos.

Buttons buy a partier's way in as well as everything except food items and movies. They are available at Provo Parks and Recreation offices, 351 W. Center, and from the customer service desk at the mall. Buttons are a dollar cheaper if purchased in advance and are good for discounts at mall stores the day after First Night.

Food will be for sale in the food court, which will stay open until 11:30 p.m. The food court includes Panda Express, Subway, Villa Pizza, McDonald's, Little Tokyo, Orange Julius, and Hot Dog on a Stick.

This is the second year that the festivities will be held indoors with the theme "Come Out and Play."

Music includes "The Little Big Band, "Salsiology," the "New Voodoo Swing Orchestra," and the Jr. Jets big band and The Jets, a group popular in the 1980s.

Fireworks will mark the start of the new year at midnight as well as the 9 p.m. hour so very young youngsters can go home to bed.

If you go . . .

What: First Night 2008

Where: Provo Towne Centre mall, 1200 Towne Center Blvd.

When: 6 p.m. to midnight, Dec. 31

Cost: $5/$4/children/5-under free

Phone: 852-6600

Web: firstnight.provo.org

E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com