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Ball drops and art exhibits are part of New Year events in the Fort Smith area

event preview by Brittany Ransom

Ball drops at the Movie Lounge, new art and partying with Elks are all possibilities for New Year activities in the Fort Smith area.

• Mayor's Countdown to 2014
Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders will ring in the New Year with his annual Countdown Party on Dec. 31. The fun will begin at 8 p.m. at the Fort Smith Convention Center and continue until the official start of the new year at midnight.

The family-friendly event will include a swing dance party, carnival games, laser tag, and movies. An entertainment stage featuring "Just the Chips" will be set-up for guests to enjoy. A toddler room will also be open with bounce-arounds, kid activities and a piñata celebration.

Food concessions will be available. Alcohol will not be permitted.

The countdown will begin just prior to midnight, with a special balloon drop topping off the celebration.

Admission to the party is free and open to all ages. Tickets and wristbands will be sold for some of the -carnival games and activities. Visitors can earn free five tickets with the donation of two non-perishable food items, which will benefit the Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter.

For more information, contact Karin Hobbs at 788-9832.

• New Year's Eve Party at the Elks
The Fort Smith Elks know how to party and are celebrating the New Year with a celebration at the Lodge on Massard Road on Dec. 31.

The evening will kick off with Happy Hour from 5-6:30 p.m. A prime rib dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with entertainment by the Pearson Brothers to begin at 8 p.m. Cost is $25 per person, which includes dinner, entertainment, midnight champagne, and party favors. Guests wanting to come for only the entertainment portion of the evening can pay a $10 cover charge.

Seating is limited. To reserve a spot, call Debbie at 459-6461.

• KISR Ball Drop
KISR 93.7 and MovieLounge are teaming up this year to help Fort Smith usher in the New Year.

Those looking for a night on the town can enjoy fine dining and music inside the MovieLounge on Dec. 31 beginning at 8 p.m. Guests will be treated to a five-course meal accompanied by the music of Tom Ware. Dancing will start at 9 p.m., with entertainment provided by Got It Covered. Tickets are $50 for the meal and dance party or $30 for admission to the dance party only.

Just three doors in MovieLounge's newly-opened EpiCenter will be the Techno Dance Party. DJ Sound Scientist will be on-hand with music lasting from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Cost is $10 per person or $30 for the VIP package.

Families can enjoy the traditional KISR 93.7 Ball Drop and fireworks display from the MovieLounge parking lot beginning at 8 p.m. Games, bounce-arounds and food will be available. Alcohol is not permitted. The free family event is open to the public.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 226-3595.


• CAE hosts opening reception for Jaak Kindberg exhibit
Wind down from the busy New Year's festivities and take in some local art by one of the region's premier artist. Van Buren's Center for Art and Education will host its first opening reception of the new year on Jan. 5. The event will kick-off the center's Jaak Kindberg exhibit which will run through Jan. 25.

The reception is free and open to the public and will from 1 to 4 p.m. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

For more information, call CAE at 474-7767.

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