I was very happy to see the front page article in The Daily Star in which Oneonta police Sgt. Ralph Pajerski was quoted as saying that no problems were reported during Oneonta’s First Night Celebration.
As a member of the First Night Board and staff of LEAF, this was the third major event I had the honor of helping with in the past year. Fifteen thousand people attended the Hometown 4th of July, 6,000 attended Five Star Subaru’s Susquehanna Balloon Festival and an estimated 3,000 people came out for New Year’s Eve. At each event, thousands of people gathered to have fun without one reported theft, fight or incident of any kind!
Oneonta First Night is an all-volunteer organization and we always worry about assuming liability for large events. To see everyone enjoying themselves on New Year’s Eve in an alcohol-free, family-friendly celebration of arts and culture really made me proud of our local people and was a great way to start the New Year!
Thank you so much to everyone who attended. You made the night so special!
Mandigo is a prevention specialist with the Leatherstocking Education on Alcoholism/Addictions Foundation, or LEAF, Inc.