Utah County residents will have a new alternative to staying home this New Year's Eve.

In conjunction with local businesses, Provo City, Utah County and the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce, the First New Year's Eve Family Spectacular will be held in downtown Provo.Similar to the First Night celebration held in Salt Lake City and in more than 150 cities throughout the U.S., the Spectacular will be family oriented and alcohol free.

"The thing I like most about it is it's free and we hope it will always be free," said Rod Fudge, co-vice chairman.

The Spectacular will begin at 6 p.m. at the Provo Tabernacle Park. The Utah Army National Guard will set up three large tents in the park that will feature puppet shows, mimes and other events geared toward children. Other activities include country western dancing and appearances by the Utah Jazz Bear and BYU's Cosmo.

The main outdoor stage event will begin at 10:30 p.m. and will include a laser light show.

There will be several food venders in the downtown area and parking will be allowed in the Nu Skin terrace, the county parking complex and the municipal parking plaza, all within one block of the event.

Other festivities coinciding with the downtown spectacular include a singles dance at the historicCounty Courthouse, a dinner/dance at the Provo Park Hotel and a larger party at Johnny B's Comedy Club.

"What we are trying to do is provide a New Year's Eve alternative. Last year 1.5 million people attended the First Night activities in downtown Boston, where the idea began 12 years ago," Fudge said. For Provo's first year, Fudge said the committee would be happy if 1,500 showed up.

Fudge also warned, "don't dress for looks, dress for warmth, it will be cold." There will be 30 heated barrels to warm hands and Fudge said there will be restroom facilities available.

For more information call Beverly Watson at 798-1909.