Frederick County Public Libraries is continuing its tradition of giving the youngest generations a chance to be a part of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Five of the system’s nine branches will be throwing “Noon Year’s Eve” parties, where families can bring their littlest members to ring in 2020 at noon instead of midnight.

Tara Lebherz, the FCPL branch administrator for both Urbana Regional Library and the Edward F. Fry Memorial Library at Point of Rocks, said the family-friendly event allows young children to participate in what is traditionally a more “adult holiday.”

“A lot of these kids don’t get to stay up till midnight,” Lebherz said. “This is a chance for the whole family to celebrate together.”

Libraries tend to be a popular with families when schools are closed, and Beth Heltebridle, branch administrator of C. Burr Artz Public Library in downtown Frederick, said the branches always see an uptick in their younger clientele.

Therefore, educational elements will also be worked into the celebration, Heltebridle said, such as learning what a year is or talking about New Year’s resolutions.

Heltebridle said the point of starting such conversations in the library is so families can then continue it at home and talk about what the new year can bring.

“And of course, we are a library so we will have great books to checkout as well,” Heltebridle said.

Having small children together in an interactive activity, such as “Noon Year’s Eve” also helps increase their socialization skills, vocabulary and helps them learn important lessons such as taking turns, Heltebridle said.

“It’s all in there secretly just wrapped up in a big ball of fun,” she said.

The celebrations at each branch will last about an hour and will include crafts, singing, dancing and of course a countdown.

“We always do a little practice so everybody gets it,” said Heltebridle. The downtown library has been holding the event for the past three years, and she said it has been a hit from the beginning, with a turnout of over 100 people last year.

“It’s really becoming for some families part of their New Year’s Eve tradition,” Heltebridle said. “And who doesn’t love a toddler dance party.”

In addition to the “Noon Year’s Eve” parties, there will also be a more general New Year’s Eve party at the Brunswick branch starting later in the afternoon for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill.

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