VIDEO: Kids love New Year’s Eve countdown and balloon drop at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

A big group of skaters at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena takes time out Dec. 31 to wish everyone a Happy New Year! (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Blowing their noise makers furiously, a group of kids gets ready for the balloons to fall on them during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Blowing their noise makers furiously, a group of kids gets ready for the balloons to fall on them during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The balloons fall from their net onto a noisy, eager group of Lake Cowichan kids on New Year’s Eve. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
As balloons fall from the big net over their heads, these Lake Cowichan kids try to pop them, adding to the cacophany from their noisemakers. Who needs fireworks? (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

The announcement went out over the loud speaker at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena just before 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 31.

The colourful, fun New Year’s Eve countdown and balloon drop was about to happen.

Up until then those in attendance had been having fun making crafts, going through someone’s old button collection, and ice skating with their friends.

Children rushed in to the lobby area, where someone helpfully handed out noisemakers.

Before long, a joyful cacophony filled the entire place as parents took up strategic spots around the perimeter, video cameras at the ready.

Ten, nine, eight…soon everyone was shouting the numbers.

Down came an avalanche of balloons and with some kids excitedly grabbing them, or trying to pop them, or both, while others continued with their noisemakers, there was no need for fireworks to celebrate the end of 2018 and welcome in 2019.

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