Fireworks, Cold Kick Off 2010

Thousands pack Navy Pier for double celebrations

Cold temperatures did not deter thousands of Chicagoans from ringing in the new year at Navy Pier. Twice.

Fireworks and kisses ushered in 2010 at the usual stroke of midnight for many but an earlier family-friendly celebration at 8:15 p.m. was designed for the family set. 

Georgia Parisi brought daughters Adriana and Zoey to the party for the time. 

"We're trying to create a new (tradition) for the girls," Parisi told the Chicago Tribune. "It's neat that they have the fireworks early for the younger ones. These two will be asleep by 10."

More than 10,000 people were at Navy Pier to see the fireworks show after a free concert Thursday. 

Many event planners predicted attendance would be down this year because of the economy. In fact, many Americans were happy to leave 2009 behind and look forward to new opportunities in 2010.

A whopping 82 percent are optimistic about what the new year will bring for their families, according to an AP-GFK poll.

While Americans are excited about their personal lives, less than half think the nation's economy will improve in 2010, even though they rated 2009 as a huge downer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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