The new year will come early for some people in Southeast Michigan. Tonight, Oakland County Parks and Recreation will host its annual "Almost New Year's" party.
The two-hour dance is specially created for the county's developmentally disabled adults. The party not only occurs before the year change, but the year-end countdown happens at 8:30 p.m. instead of midnight.
Sandy Dorey created the event. She says older parents and caregivers often don't want to stay out late on New Year's. She says it's also difficult to make reservations for Dec. 31.
"We just thought, 'It's a celebration.' We'd have the hats and everything else, so we just kick it off a few days early," she said.
She says this is the "Almost New Year's" party's 15th year, and she expects a turnout of about 100 people tonight. She says some have made the celebration a tradition.
"The first year, we had one individual that was so enthusiastic about doing the actual count down, that we have talked him into doing it every single year," she said.
Tonight's party on the north side of the county is the second of two celebrations. Oakland County Parks hosted the south side's "Almost New Year's" last night.
Dorey says the party is part of a year-long schedule of social events for developmentally disabled residents of Oakland County.