Revelers enjoy early New Year's Eve festivities downtown -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Revelers enjoy early New Year's Eve festivities downtown

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Mayor Kip Holden and onlookers watching the Red Stick being raised Mayor Kip Holden and onlookers watching the Red Stick being raised
Learning the Red Stick Shuffle Learning the Red Stick Shuffle
Kids Kids

People from all around the metro area are expected to make their way downtown, for the inaugural New Year's celebration. The Red Stick Revelry was the vision of Mayor Kip Holden. Festivities were planned throughout the day, Tuesday, in Town Square.

At 11 a.m., a small crowd gathered around the stage area to watch a bell choir play a few tunes.

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge had several tables set up, where children were able to paint their own red stick for the celebration. A storyteller also took the stage to tell the story of how Baton Rouge got its name. Organizers also showed family friendly movies throughout the day.

"This is a historical even for Baton Rouge, we're really excited," said one woman, who added this is the first time in several years her family will spend the evening together because of their work schedules.

Cold weather kept many people wrapped up in blankets, hats and coats.

A local fitness trainer took time Tuesday morning to teach the official dance, the Red Stick Shuffle, to the crowd. The shuffle goes with the official song for the event.

"This is very nice, very nice," said a man who would only identify himself as Santa. "It was a very hard Christmas, so I needed some time to rest up," he said was his reason for ringing in 2014 in Baton Rouge.

For many parents, the afternoon activities were the perfect way to end 2013 and a great to get ready for the new year. With family, friends and together as one city.

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