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Warrenton Community Center hosting free New Year’s Eve teen bash

Friday, Dec. 28 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
The Warrenton Community Center wants to give teens something to do on New Year’s Eve.

The center invites teens to the Fauquier County Rocking Teen New Year’s Eve Party at 430 East Shirley Ave. From 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 12:30 a.m., Fauquier teens ages 13-18 can enjoy free refreshments, activities and rock music.

The party is a first for the community center. They’re treating it as an experiment, said recreation program coordinator Ray Graham.

It’s an experiment the county sorely needs, he said.

“I’ve been in Fauquier County for a long time and there’ s very little for teens to do,” Graham said.

The party coincides with the First Night celebration in Old Town, Graham said. But there are a lot of kids who don’t necessarily want to be with their parents, walking around Warrenton at the end of the year, he said.

Teens don’t have many other options other than to stay home, he said.

To that end, the community center hopes to create a party where teens can enjoy themselves and parents can feel comfortable leaving their children. Sheriff’s deputies will be on hand to keep the peace, said Fauquier Lt. James Hartman.

The center has secured donations from area businesses and pizzerias to keep its guests well fed, Graham said. The center expects 200 to 250 attendees, but would be happy to handle twice that number, he said.

Two local bands, Cosmos and Ascension, will play for the center’s guests. Jim Nida, Ascension’s vocalist, said the party will break new ground for Fauquier.

“This is the first thing I’ve heard of where it’s a county-sponsored event to really draw kids to a safe and healthy environment,” Nida said.

Ascension formed from members of Bethel United Methodist Church, but Nida doesn’t plan to proselytize at the party.

They’ll play cover songs and their original work, which Nida described as ‘70s-era lyrical sensibilities expressed through modern music.

Nida, 54, believes his music and the party will help cross the generational divide between hosts and guests. As an example, he said, Ascension and Cosmos plan to jointly perform Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and then launch into a jazz interpretation of nu-metal band Linkin Park.

“The connection we make is that we really love to talk to people and engage with them, ” Nida said. “Whether they’re 11 years old or 80, we really try to find a place where we have common ground.”
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