GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The children at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center beat everyone in their New Year’s Eve celebrations by about 12 hours. They had their own called ‘Countdown to Noon.’ But for a moment, it looked like it might not happen.
The center has been putting on this celebration for more than 20 years inside the building. But then, an idea came from right in their own back yard.
“We’ve had so many parents asking us if we were still planning on doing it,” said LMDC executive director Cindy DeFrancis. “Originally, we thought, ‘No, we need to cancel just like everyone else.’ But then we thought about it and said you know, we have seven and a half acres of outdoor space and so why can’t we just move everything outside?”
Defrancis also said that it’s important for families to still have a place to bring kids for fun, and safe activities.
“We feel like as a family place that it is important for families to have a place to still be able to go for those families that want to continue to do fun activities with their kids,” said DeFrancis. “And so, this is a wonderful place to come and it’s a safe place.”
That’s good news for Kathleen Caswell and her children.
“We’re happy to hear that it was going to be outside,” said Caswell. “We didn’t know if there was going to be a large crowd or not.”
She has a membership here and comes to the New Year’s celebration every year. Breaking a tradition wasn’t a good idea.
“I feel like with the kids, you only get 18 years to make memories,” Caswell said. “And in 2020, there was a lot of things you missed out on. So, I was happy to hear that going into 2021 there was going to be somethings you can get the traditions going and make memories with them.”