CAMAS — Clark County’s hottest New Year’s Eve party was one for the books. Better still, it was over by nap time.
The Camas Public Library welcomed about 130 children and their families on Tuesday for a Noon Year’s Eve Party, ringing in 2020 early with crafts, dancing and a toddler’s spirit of choice: apple juice. The crowd was wall-to-wall in the library’s community room, with children squealing in delight as they flung confetti, popped bubble wrap and snatched balloons dropped from the ceiling as the clock struck noon.
“It’s fun,” said library associate Karen Nicholson, who has overseen the event for several years. “It’s bonding with your kids.”
Trista Wolles brought her son, 2-year-old Damian, to the party. They worked together to make a confetti popper, which is a toilet paper roll with a balloon wrapped around one end and then filled with paper confetti. When a reveler pulls the balloon, the confetti inside bursts into the air.
And that’s what Wolles did to distract her wandering son, who seemed more intent on picking up paper from the floor than on celebrating.
“I thought it would be fun for him,” Wolles said as her son plucked the bright paper circles from the floor, replacing them in the toilet paper roll. The year ahead will be a big one for this active toddler, who will soon start tumbling and swimming classes.
“He’s really into music class,” Wolles said before chasing her son, who had tidied up all the confetti, off to another corner of the room.
Katy Klett was joined by her son, 3-year-old Calvin, and daughter, 1-year-old Samantha, to mark the occasion after spotting it on Facebook. With Calvin on break from preschool, the family is busy looking for activities that take them outside of the house.
“It’s rainy, so today I told him ‘no park,’” Klett said.
Calvin didn’t seem to mind, as he bedazzled a pair of paper glasses for his mom.
“We love coming (to the library),” Klett said.
Still, to toddlers and young children, the significance of entering a new decade is abstract. Brie Hilliard brought her daughter, 5-year-old Emma, to mark the occasion for the second year in a row. For Emma, waiting for the balloons to drop felt like an eternity.
“How long now?” she asked her mom again and again as she danced.
To Hilliard, however, the next 10 years will mean watching this bouncy kindergartner grow into a teenager.
“I hope she grows up to be a helper, and a kind person,” Hilliard said.
And hopefully, Hilliard said with a smile as the clock ticked down, she’ll pick up patience along the way.