The Eden community is gearing up for its second drug- and alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration.
Celebrate Eden will sponsor activities at Eden High, Eden Elementary and Grover L. Priess schools from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31.
Committee members hoping for 500 or 600 people at last year's event were stunned at the response: nearly 3,000 attended.
More entertainment is on tap for this year. A Battle of the Bands will feature local teen bands Psychotic Prophit, Slim Pixie Thin, Nothing Yet and Render. Buffalo Swing's big band sound will fill the elementary school gym form 8 p.m. to midnight. Buffalo Ragtime Dixieland will play in the high school gym. The Liberty Cloggers will perform, and a Larkin Kempo Karate demonstration is planned. Returning this year will be rock bands edn, Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys, the bluegrass sounds of Creekbend, the '50s and '60s music of Tony's Travelin' Tunes, Buffalo Gateway Chorus, Eden Central Choral groups, Nan Hoffman, storyteller Howard Edmonds, Jean Stewart's Enchanted Puppets, balloon clown Jim Donohue and magic by Michael Hilberger.
There also will be fireworks, face painting and swimming, a coffeehouse at the elementary and high school and snowmobiling and ice skating, weather permitting. Food and souvenirs will be available at all three sites.
Parking will be available in the school parking lots and at other nearby locations, with shuttle bus service provided to and from parking sites and from building to building.
Presale admission buttons with the "Illuminate '98" logo are being sold at Shurfine, Convenient and Smith Hardware in Eden. Buttons also will be available at Eden Seafood, Eden Pennysaver, Marine Midland Eden branch, and Hamburg Health Care and Healthco in Hamburg.
The event is an offshoot of the Eden Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Committee, and has the support of the school district, Town Board, Eden Police, Eden D.A.R.E., Eden recreation department, Eden Chamber of Commerce, Eden Central Parent Teacher Association, Eden Alumni Association, Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Southtowns United and dozens of local businesses and volunteers.