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First Night kicks off in Missoula

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Missoula, Mont. - Missoulians celebrated New Years Eve early with the 23rd annual First Night Missoula Saturday afternoon.

There were more than 75 events happening around town - one being the art gallery featuring students from Chief Charlo School.

SPARK director Jackalynn Snow helped get the student's art displayed at the University Center Gallery. She says the kids are amazed when they see their art on the wall.

"It is normal for them to have it displayed at school and have parents come see, but to have it in public in a real gallery with the beautiful lighting and everyone here, I think it is really exciting."

SPARK's goal is to get more art opportunities into schools for children.

At the gallery, kids had the opportunity to paint and show off their creative side. Ryleigh Dailey says painting is her favorite thing to do.

"You get to get creative and do it your own way."

First Night events didn't end at the University Center - they continued around town to Southgate Mall.

Kids and their families were invited to the mall to bring in the new year by decorating hats.

Alta Murray won first place in the competition and says her family comes every year.

"It is fun to do it every year. It is just something as a tradition for New Years."

First Night Missoula events will continue throughout New Years Eve until the ball drops at midnight.

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