Family New Year’s Eve

When I was a kid we celebrated New Year’s by staying up late, drinking homemade eggnog, watching the ball drop on TV and listening to my dad usher in the new year by shooting his shotgun into the night sky (while we were safely watching from inside the house, of course). It wasn’t exactly exciting, but it was an annual tradition that I remember fondly.

This picture is from my first Family New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2005.

This picture is from my first Family New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2005.


Now, however, I have a new tradition, one that makes up for all those years of staying home and staying up late just to watch a ball drop in New York City … I spend my New Year’s Eve at work.

Of course, the idea of working late on New Year’s Eve probably doesn’t appeal to most people – but then again most people don’t work where I do.

First of all, now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 32, I put much more value on the amount of sleep I get, and the thought of staying up past 10, going out to the bars and rebel rousing just doesn’t cut it anymore (as my single friends can attest to). Plus, who wants to spend $50 on a babysitter and over a hundred on cover charges, drinks and dinner? Not me. Especially not me, when I can work late and live the childhood dream of a rockin’ New Year’s Eve party while simultaneously living the adult dream of being done with it and home in bed by, yep you guessed it – 10 p.m.!

What’s so great about it, you ask? Well, first of all there are stilt-walking jugglers. You heard me – not just stilt-walkers and not just jugglers, but finely-trained entertainers that have dedicated years of practice to combine the two art forms. And I LOVE stilt-walking jugglers. I just wish I were younger, so it wouldn’t seem so weird.

In addition to that, there will be characters (yes, besides me), clowns, face painting, balloons, party hats, dancing and all kinds of fun that culminates at 8 p.m. with a countdown and balloon drop. So every year, even though I don’t technically have to work the event, I ask if I can help out and every year, that’s where you’ll find me. Cheers to new traditions and getting bed early.

Kerry Baugh is a visitor program specialist at the Indiana State Museum.

For information about the Family New Year’s Eve, visit our website.