A popular New Year's Eve event is making a return. "First Night Casper" is a substance-free celebration open to anyone in the community, sponsored this year by the Natrona County Prevention Coalition. "It's specifically geared toward family and youth as a safe place to celebrate New Year's Eve without the presence of drugs or alcohol," says Lisa Brown of the Mercer Family Resource Center.

The coalition is a group of some forty community agencies. "We work together to provide healthy and positive choices," says Ms. Brown, "so we recognize a concern of substance abuse and misuse in our community, and we work to address those concerns and prevent it by promoting more choices. We know New Year's Eve can be a huge one where people might misuse or youth can get their hands on it and so we want to provide this healthy alternative to kind of alleviate that concern."

The event features live entertainment including bands and musicians, magicians, and dancers as well as fun activities such as a photo booth, a scavenger hunt, and a balloon release to help let go of something associated with 2016 and move on. "First Night Casper" serves as a fundraiser for a number of free events the Coalition holds during the year, including Family Game Night, the Community Baby Shower, and the Family Day party in the park after the parade in July.

It will be held at the Lyric at 230 West Yellowstone Highway from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. New Years Eve. Lanyards for admission cost $10.00 for those ages 13 and above, and $5.00 for ages 3 to 12. Kids two and under get in free.

You can purchase a lanyard at the Mercer Family Resource Center at 535 West Yellowstone, pick them up the door the night of the event, or you can call (307) 265-7366 for more information.

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