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Celebrating a Last Night

People ring in 2013 at event in Fort Plain

January 1, 2013
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

FORT PLAIN - People came to the village Monday night as the last day of 2012 slowly ebbed away, intent on celebrating New Year's Eve as part of the Tri-Village Last Night Celebration held in Fort Plain.

With more than 400 buttons sold in the days before the event, Jim Katovitch, chairman of Fort Plain's Activity Council, was confident in the attendance of the village's special event.

"I know there will at least be 400 people coming," he said.

Article Photos

Thea Falzarine, a resident of the state of Florida, helps her son, Maximo, with arts and crafts at the Fort Plain True Value as part of the Tri-Village Last Night Celebration on Monday.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland

The theme for this year's event was "It's Not the End of the World But a New Beginning." It was a reference to the idea the Mayan calendar claimed the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012.

Katovitch made light of it even more, with a technology class Fort Plain Central School making a large Mayan Sun to lower as part of the midnight celebrations.

"It [has] eyes and glows orange, and the fire department [will] be lowering it down," Katovitch. "We beat the Mayan calendar."

The Last Night event is held every New Year's Eve in either St. Johnsville, Canajoharie or Fort Plain on a rotating basis.

Organizers said the event always attracts a large crowd of locals.

"I think because it is local and relatively inexpensive [it draws a crowd]," said Elizabeth Marosek, part of the Friends of Fort Plain group.

The tradition was started 6 years ago by Bob Smith, a St. Johnsville resident. Since it's inception, it has made the loop around the villages twice, with 2013 being held back in its birthplace of St. Johnsville.

"Each village does something differently," Katovitch said.

Each $10 ticket sold gave attendees access to a large pulled pork supper at the Fort Plain Reformed Church, with the proceeds going to the Stop Hunger Now Project being held at the church.

Other activities during the evening included concerts at several venues, a large selling point according to Marosek. Stone Soup, County Line Rebels, The Jan Cronkhite Quartet, and the Dependents were just some of the bands playing across the village at different locations Monday night.

"We are getting a tremendous response from the youth of the community," Katovitch said.

For the kids, a special Arts and Crafts and Open House were held at the Fort Plain True Value.

"Its been a hectic year," Tanya Kilmartin, owner, joked.

True Value has recently gone through a massive remodel of the store, Kilmartin said, and she was happy to open the store up as part of the event.

Sitting with her son Maximo, Thea Falzarine - from the state of Florida - helped him make a party popper: a balloon filled with confetti that flies everywhere once popped.

Up to visit family for the holidays, Falzarine said the children were the primary reason for coming to the celebration. However, her children would not be staying to see the ball fall at midnight.

"We will do a fake out for them. Midnight at 9 p.m.," Falzarine joked.

St. Johnsville Mayor Bernie Barnes and Linda Peters, regulars at the event, said it was a standard for them for the last 3 years.

"We are going to make our rounds and hit everything we can until midnight," Barnes said.



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