The announcement went out over the loud speaker at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena just before 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 31.
The colourful, fun New Year’s Eve countdown and balloon drop was about to happen.
Up until then those in attendance had been having fun making crafts, going through someone’s old button collection, and ice skating with their friends.
Children rushed in to the lobby area, where someone helpfully handed out noisemakers.
Before long, a joyful cacophony filled the entire place as parents took up strategic spots around the perimeter, video cameras at the ready.
Ten, nine, eight…soon everyone was shouting the numbers.
Down came an avalanche of balloons and with some kids excitedly grabbing them, or trying to pop them, or both, while others continued with their noisemakers, there was no need for fireworks to celebrate the end of 2018 and welcome in 2019.