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Thousands Attend First Night Haddonfield 2013

The 15th annual event brings visitors from as far as Mexico City to enjoy a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve.

The door to the Haddonfield Information Center was propped open by people waiting in line for the best bargain in South Jersey, entry buttons to First Night Haddonfield 2013. Mayor Tish Colombi was on hand to explain to first time visitors how to display their buttons, access the shuttle between venues and enjoy the experience.

Toni and Chrissy Walton of Sweet T's Bake Shop were busy putting the final decorative touches on a three-layer birthday cake for Haddonfield's tricentennial. Each layer was decorated with 3-D images of Haddonfield's history. A train made out of Rice Krispie treats curved around the second layer, a fondant Hadrosaurus hung from a corner, shade trees lined the base of the cake, Victorian houses were placed on all sides, images of John Estaugh and Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh flanked the front and a 300 revolved on the top layer.

The cake was on display at the main stage until 9 p.m. when Colombi led the crowd in a roaring rendition of "Happy Birthday to Haddonfield." Haddonfield Memorial High School's head basketball coach, Paul Weideman was on hand to cut the tricentennial cake. Weideman's received the honor after his boys' basketball team won their 300th game on Dec. 17. "Hopefully by me cutting the cake, luck will come for us for the 300th year in Haddonfield," said Weideman.

Maureen Eyles, of the First Night Committee and head of Haddonfield's Tricentennial Committee, said, "First Night is my favorite event that takes place in town."

Many visitors were new to Haddonfield's First Night while others have returned every year since the beginning, 15 year ago. Marie Myer traveled from Mexico City to see her nephew, Patrick Oberstaedt of the band No Commitment, perform at First Night. Many families and friends enjoyed a beautiful night to walk along Kings Highway, stop by various venues or enjoy the music at the main stage while waiting for the fireworks at 9 p.m.

Happy 2013!

Brian Kelly January 01, 2013 at 05:39 PM
It was great when the Mayor talked about the New Year bringing Haddonfield its 300th Anniversary. As a proud Haddonfield resident it made the New Year a little more special.
FbS January 01, 2013 at 09:37 PM
We were there! Was a wonderful time. Great job Haddonfield
Ellen Klein January 02, 2013 at 12:12 AM
My husband and I felt that the Michael Jackson tribute should have been rated "adult" because all of the "groping" done by the entire group. There were a lot of young children in the audience who did not have to see that. We loved, loved, loved the Frankie Valli tribute; and also the Pan Celtic group.

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