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Celebrate First Night with the Library

Visitors to the Park Central Branch Library are accustomed to rockin’ out every month during the Park Central Sounds live music programs and Open Mic Nights. But the branch on the Square is also a featured venue on New Year’s Eve during the 20th Annual First Night Springfield. 
You can get advance tickets now for the entire night at 10 sites at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.; the Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway; and the Park Central Branch, 128 Park Central Square; or at any area Kum N Go, Dillon’s Supermarkets; Smillie’s IGA or the Creamery Arts Center downtown.

Tickets are $7 each or $25 for a family four-pack. The libraries will accept cash or checks with proper identification.
The family-friendly, alcohol-free event will end with fireworks at Jordan Valley Park. Visit for the full schedule of events, which go from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
Two musical acts are scheduled for the Park Central Branch that night.
From 6 to 7:30 p.m., hear Lowdown Fancy, a country funk band from Springfield that combines the talents of four longtime veterans of the Ozarks music scene – Bo Brown, Mike Henderson, Steve Ames and Aaron Holmes.
From 7:30 to 9 p.m., come hear the Jah Kings, which brings its own brand of positive, inspirational funky roots reggae music. The group has been acclaimed and revered as one of the best up-and-coming reggae sounds in the country.
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Has the thought of a cold winter got you down?  Here’s a spring sneak preview to keep you going: Performers in the characters of Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Aimee Semple McPherson and Will Rogers will be coming to a Springfield chautauqua in late April, thanks to an $8,140 grant to the library district from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The chautauqua is one of many events planned in April for the “Big Read.” That’s when we encourage the community to read and discuss themes surrounding the same book. This year’s selection, which takes place in the 1930s, is the quirky, young adult book, “A Long Way From Chicago,” by Richard Peck – who will also visit Springfield that month. Stay tuned for more about this “one book, one community” event.

Meanwhile, enjoy New Year’s Eve at Park Central Branch. Spring won’t be far behind.

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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