First Night returns to City of Port Alberni recreation facilities

FIRST NIGHT RETURNS
Emmy MacRae, 5, her sister Keili, 2 and father Kyle MacRae have fun at Echo Pool as part of First Night celebrations on Dec. 31, 2022. It was the first time in two years that First Night festivities have happened. See more First Night photos on page A3. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)FIRST NIGHT RETURNS Emmy MacRae, 5, her sister Keili, 2 and father Kyle MacRae have fun at Echo Pool as part of First Night celebrations on Dec. 31, 2022. It was the first time in two years that First Night festivities have happened. See more First Night photos on page A3. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Anna Rhys-Price, 12, clockwise from left, Myriah Bezanson,9, Cerawyn Price, 10 and Leland Scheur, 3 pick up their First Night pins at the Alberni Valley Museum on Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)Anna Rhys-Price, 12, clockwise from left, Myriah Bezanson,9, Cerawyn Price, 10 and Leland Scheur, 3 pick up their First Night pins at the Alberni Valley Museum on Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
First Night 2022 would not have happened this year without sponsorship from Port Alberni Toy Run. Adalynn David, 7, chose a heartwarming bear from one of the many Toy Run toys provided. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)First Night 2022 would not have happened this year without sponsorship from Port Alberni Toy Run. Adalynn David, 7, chose a heartwarming bear from one of the many Toy Run toys provided. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Kourtney Agius and son Ciaran, 2, have fun on the pool slide at Echo Pool during First Night festivities, Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)Kourtney Agius and son Ciaran, 2, have fun on the pool slide at Echo Pool during First Night festivities, Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Emmy MacRae, 5, shows off her bounty of balloons from the First Night balloon drop at Glenwood Centre, Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)Emmy MacRae, 5, shows off her bounty of balloons from the First Night balloon drop at Glenwood Centre, Dec. 31, 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Halle Donovan, 10, Hattie Courtenay, 5, and Emrie Courtenay, 10 have fun rollerblading around the hall at Glenwood Centre for First Night 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)Halle Donovan, 10, Hattie Courtenay, 5, and Emrie Courtenay, 10 have fun rollerblading around the hall at Glenwood Centre for First Night 2022. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Olivia Dmytriw was all dressed up for First Night activities at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, Dec. 31. (ELENA RARDON / Alberni Valley News)Olivia Dmytriw was all dressed up for First Night activities at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, Dec. 31. (ELENA RARDON / Alberni Valley News)

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.

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