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Kids celebrate New Year's at Borders

December 31, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- The excitement mounted Wednesday as the chorus of young voices began its backward count in the children's section of Borders at the Centre at Hagerstown.

"Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One!" they chanted. The time was 3:07 p.m., but when you're 5 years old and hopped up on hot chocolate, it's a "happy new year!" all the same.

This was the first year the Hagerstown Borders has hosted a New Year's Eve party, general manager Cathy Chouiniere said. The store decided to host one after the success of its Halloween party earlier in the year.

"The kids loved it and the parents asked us, can we do more of them," Chouiniere said.

The store also held a holiday party and is planning an inauguration party on Jan. 17, Chouiniere said. The Borders corporation provides stores with activity ideas, she said.

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About 15 children attended Wednesday's New Year's Eve party, which began when bookseller Jennifer Carmichael explained that it was the last day of the year and passed out "Ring in the New Year" alarm clock coloring pages. The children also did a winter-themed picture hunt activity, listened to three classic children's stories and learned to say "happy new year" in 10 different languages.

Madilyn Drust, 9, of Hagerstown, said her favorite part of the party was when Carmichael read "Harold and the Purple Crayon."

"It has a boy and he's using his imagination," Madilyn said.

"He drawed," Madilyn's 6-year-old sister, Malorie, added.

During story time, an employee from the cafe brought over sample-sized cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and a box of peppermint chocolate-covered pretzel sticks.

Three-year-old Lauren Conrad licked whipped cream from her upper lip and nose while Carmichael read "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

"She loves coming to Borders," said Lauren's mother, Becky Conrad of Hagerstown. "She's always like, 'Can we go to Borders and read books?'"

Lauren was excited when her mother heard about the New Year's Eve party and suggested they go, but the Borders countdown was not the only one in store for her that day. The family was planning to stay up to watch the ball drop on television, Becky Conrad said.

"She's a midnight kinda girl, so she'll love it," she said.

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