Families welcome 2017 with 'Noon-Year' celebration


IRVINE – There were no champagne toasts or stolen kisses at this New Year’s celebration. But there was lots of picture taking and loud music, giggles and silly dance moves.

And instead of one rowdy countdown, there were slated to be four.

Saturday marked the third annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.

An estimated 2,000 people – most under age 10 – ushered in 2017 by celebrating as midnight hit different time zones around the world.

The party got started at 10 a.m., with a big countdown clock and multiple confetti cannons marking the New Year in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Everly Pattillo of San Clemente may not have grasped the meaning of it all at just 21 months old, her mom Candace Pattillo acknowledged. But that didn’t stop the toddler from dancing with joy as colored confetti rained down on her.

Guests did at all over again at noon, to celebrate the start of 2017 with residents of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Then the confetti was scheduled to fly at 2 p.m. as midnight struck in Greece and at 4 p.m. as Londoners welcomed the New Year.

The event gives families a way to mark the holiday, which too often becomes “just another day” when you have young ones, said mom Yuri Chung of Irvine, who brings her 6- and 4-year-old daughters to the museum weekly.

“Even for adults, it’s hard to stay up late,” said Leslie Perovich, spokeswoman for Pretend City. “We just wanted a way for families to celebrate during the day with their kids.”

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