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Ringing in the new year

Staff Photo: John Bohn Jonathan Noble, 3, of Lawrenceville, waits in line to take part in a jumping toy as revelers take part in the 8th annual "Lawrenceville Rings" New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Lawrenceville Saturday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Jonathan Noble, 3, of Lawrenceville, waits in line to take part in a jumping toy as revelers take part in the 8th annual "Lawrenceville Rings" New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Lawrenceville Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brayden King, 6, of Commerce, walks among revelers taking part in the 8th annual "Lawrenceville Rings" New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Lawrenceville Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Lighted reindeer join revelers taking part in the 8th annual "Lawrenceville Rings" New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Lawrenceville Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brayden King, 6, of Commerce, makes bubbles while joining other revelers taking part in the 8th annual "Lawrenceville Rings" New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Lawrenceville Saturday.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Dan Zappone didn't personally know everybody downtown at Saturday's New Year's Eve bash.

But he felt like he could have.

"It's not a small town, but it's got a nice small-town feel today," said Zappone as he stood with wife, Sabrina, and their two children. The family attended the annual end-of-year event, hosted throughout downtown Lawrenceville.

Much like the Zappones, hundreds of people swarmed the downtown area during the eighth annual gathering, which included live music, children's activities and fireworks at midnight.

Many of those in attendance planned to leave before the fireworks began but enjoyed the food and activities available throughout the afternoon.

The Harrison Family of Lawrenceville stopped downtown for a bite to eat. Next, they ventured over to the inflatable bounce houses, where sisters-in-law Robin and Gayle Harrison supervised young relatives while they played.

"I think this thing is a great idea," Gayle Harrison said. "I like the way they've done it."

Robin Harrison held napping two-month-old Tenley, while Gentry, 3, Emery, 3 and Tatum, 2, played nearby.

Frank McDonald said he, his wife and kids planned to stay for the midnight fireworks but were "playing it by ear."

"We'll have to see how tired everybody is by then," McDonald said, chuckling. "I'm about wore out already."

Event volunteer Jennifer Morsberger said Saturday afternoon that the eighth annual Lawrenceville Rings event was a success.

"We've had a ton of people, and it seems like a good turnout," Morsberger said. "It looks like it's going to be a good year for this."

Zappone, a first-time attendee, said he was impressed with the event overall.

"It's a very safe-feeling environment," he said. "They block off the streets, and your kids can run and play. It's a good place to ring in the new year."