COLUMBIA - This year, two unique celebrations called First Night Columbia 2012 and 2012 Happy New U will give people different options to ring in the New Year.
Local band Sutu Forte and the Beethovens rehearsed inside the Missouri Theater Friday afternoon to prepare for their performance during the First Night festivities.
Unlike previous years, when the event brought in a combination of national, regional and local performers, this year will be a local party only.
"We are dedicating all the stages this year to our local arts community and it's something I want to do for a long while," said First Night Director Jane Accurso. "So all the artists you see on stage will be from Missouri and mainly from the Columbia area."
The main theme of this year's First Night Columbia is "Make Some Noise," and the sub theme is "Local Explosion." Participants will enjoy a variety of entertainment at 12 different venues in downtown Columbia.
During the event, People's Republic of Klezmerica will be celebrating their first reunion in seven years on the First Night stages.
Everything has been set up for the event and it will run Saturday night from seven p.m. to midnight.
Meanwhile, the Activity and Recreation Center, or ARC, is also preparing for its fourth annual New Year event called Happy New U.
"The purpose of the event is to allow people from Columbia and outside of Columbia to come in and get a sampler of all the gyms and all the professional exercises and activities," ARC Supervisor of Operations Brian Higginbotham said.
The event will use the entire ARC except the pool area. People can come to the ARC to start their New Year with health and fitness by participating in different exercise sessions, such as Zumba, Yoga, Body Attack, Belly Dance, Tai Chi, etc.
2012 Happy New U event will be held inside the ARC on Sunday from 10 a.m. to one p.m. and it is free to the public.