[R493R, Whistler] puts on a celebration just for families for First Night 2010. The 19th annual event features an alcohol-free evening to celebrate the arts and the upcoming Olympic Games.

The evening combines fun and fantasy, with art workshops, shows, and street entertainment for families. The Town Plaza Gazebo is the center for New Year's activities that include fire dancers, freeride tricks, comedians, and live music. Live performances take place on two stages. The TELUS Conference is open for arts and crafts. Kids and adults can create lanterns and have faces painted.

First Night starts at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve. A 9:30 p.m. countdown accommodates younger participants in the crowd that can't stay up until midnight. A torchlight parade and fireworks blast off to celebrate the New Year.

Whistler Village's perimeter is secured for the event. Purchase advance tickets online at a discount for $15 CAD for adults and $8 for kids 12 years old and younger. Entry fees on Dec. 31 are $20 CAD for adults and $10 for kids. Tots two years old and younger are admitted free.

First Night tickets also grant admission to Meadow Park Sports Centre for public ice skating noon - 4 p.m. Dec. 31, too. Skate rentals are additional.

Teens under 19 years old can attend a dance in the Sea to Sky Ballroom that runs 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Games and refreshments are also available.

Whistler First Night events are zero tolerance. Intoxicated guests are not admitted.

Whistler Blackcomb also is running a holiday lodging special. The package offers 50 percent off the third night of your stay at select properties. Packages start with an average nightly rate of $259 CAD, and they are valid for arrivals Dec. 25- Jan. 2.

More information. Or call 888-403-4727.