BY SONJA DRINKWATER
Special to the AV News
After a two-year hiatus, the popular First Night festivities returned to City of Port Alberni recreational facilities.
Families from around the Alberni Valley enjoyed an evening of historical exploration, swimming and skating.
Their first stop was at the Alberni Valley Museum where they picked up little gifts, filled out a form and wore a button to show that they had registered for First Night.
Echo Pool had a limit of 75 swimmers so a few were disappointed, but there was always the roller and ice skating.
The Coulson Rink was open for families who wanted to do some ice skating. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs were playing a New Year’s Eve B.C. Hockey League game next door at Weyerhaeuser Arena.
At Glenwood Centre, volunteers with the Port Alberni Toy Run handed out 175 toys to children—with most being stuffies.
They also provided everyone with hotdogs, juice, popcorn and skate rentals.
The Toy Run has sponsored First Night events for 20-plus years, teaming up with the City of Port Alberni to provide a free evening of entertainment for families and children.