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First Night in Provo features Oly themes

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PROVO— This city's First Night 2002 celebration, "Provo Welcomes the World," featured Olympic themes and the unveiling of an ice carving of New York firefighters and police with Sept. 11 rubble in the background.

Singer Alan Osmond led chants of "USA, USA," before breaking out in the song, "Proud To Be An American."

"I'm quite surprised. I didn't think there would be that much to it," said Jason Metheny of Sandy. "It's spectacular for the kids," he said, speaking of the "It's a Small World" Kids Fest. Set up under a huge tent, the event featured activities for children.

Retired Jazz player Thurl Bailey sang. Costumed Olympic and Paralympic mascots made an appearance and were in the colorful torch parade. Celebrants could choose from four dances.

At midnight, more than 2,002 balloons dropped on the crowd.