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Phone: 612-724-5652,  Fax: 612-724-2770


The Neighborhood section The bonfire warmed hay wagon riders
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13th-Annual Night Before New Years Eve Party


Shuttle Service: We offer a Shuttle Bus courtesy of Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls. It will loop between the Bossen area to the Community Center. Click for larger map.
Click for 2012 Shuttle route map The Bus will run between 5:00pm and 8:30 pm (approximate). All stops will have signs.

  Happy New Year!

As the countdown clock reached zero, the crowd celebrated 2012's coming with noisemakers and poppers. (2011)

  Food line

Food line volunteer Will Tevan ladels someLaura's Famous Chilidog Chili. Besides the beef dogs and fixings, the food line in 2011 offered chips, pastries, hand-made cookies, kegs of 1919 root beer, punch, hot cocoa and more. (2011)

  Kids Dance drew a constant crowd

Every year, the kids are drawn to the nonstop music and dance contests put on by the DJ's of Kids Dance. Here, a DJ demonstrates break dancing.(2011)

  Madame Tell, fortune teller

Bowling was popular with kids at the new NENA lanes, even when facing the wrong way. (2011)

  The Fishing Pond

The Nokomis Fishing Pond offers some of the best angling in the area! No worms needed. (2011)

  Madame Tell, fortune teller

Fortune teller Madame Tell draws people of all ages with her crystal ball and fortune cards. (2008 shown)

The 2009 Video: "The Night Before New Year's Eve Party" was the subject of a half-hour feature by the Minneapolis Television Network (MTN). Online or over cable, see the night in review, and look for friends and acquaintances among the more than 1,000 attendees. Link

NENA’s 13th-annual Night Before New Year’s Eve Party will be held on Sunday, December 30, 2012, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

NENA and the Nokomis Community Center/Minneapolis Parks and Recreation are proud to once again co-sponsor this annual community party.   Families throughout the Twin Cities area and out-of-town guests are welcome to ring in 2013 in this fun, kid-friendly event.

The entire event is free, but donations are much appreciated to help offset the cost.

Highlights include old-fashoned hayrides and marshmallow roasting at the bonfire. Indoor activities include the legendary Nokomis fish pond, games with prizes (basketball shoot, bowling, golf, cup stacking and more), crafts, fortune telling, live music, and a strolling magician.  The ever-popular DJs from KidsDance will be back, spinning tunes with dance contests and prizes for kids of all ages. Returning this year is the popular Photo Booth (donations are highly appreciated to offset the cost).

Refreshments include hotdogs with all the toppings including Laura's Famous Chilidog chili, chips, cookies, draft 1919 draft root beer, coffee and hot chocolate. And, did we mention that all of this free?

Father Time will make an appearance to help ring in the New Year with the traditional countdown, complete with noisemakers, at 7:55.

Sunday, December 30, 2011, 5-8 PM
(New Year's countdown at 7:55 pm)
Nokomis Community Center
2401 East Minnehaha Parkway
Extra parking is available in the overflow lot East of the Center,
and below the center along E. Lake Nokomis Parkway. Shuttle service is available.
(Overflow parking map)
(Shuttle route map)

Hay RidesBonfireFoodLive Music
KidsDance DJ & Dance Contests Prizes
Carnival Games Face Painting
Fortune Teller
Photo Booth
Balloon MagicianCrafts


2012 Schedule of Activities

Shuttle Service 5:00-8:30 p.m.
Bonfire and Marshmallows 5:00-7:45 p.m.
Crafts and Games 5:00-7:50 p.m.
Southwest High School Jazz Combo 5:00-6:00 p.m.
KidsDance, DJ and contests 6:00-7:50 p.m.
Hayrides 5:30-7:30 p.m
Face Painting 5:30-7:30 p.m
Fortune Teller 5:00-7:45 p.m
Photo Booth 5:45-7:45 p.m
Strolling Magician 6:00-7:30 p.m
“Count Down to the New Year!” 7:50-8:00 p.m.


The success of the NBNYE Party is dependent on a large volunteer team.  Volunteer areas include:

  • Greeting
  • Games in the gym
  • Food prep and service
  • Crafts area
  • Outside activities (bonfire and hayride)
  • Setup (Dec. 30 in the afternoon)
  • Cleanup

Teresa Thomas-Carroll, a long-time NBNYE attendee and volunteer says this of her experience, “Volunteering for NBNYE is an easy and fun way to support the Nokomis East Neighborhood. The commitment is as little as one hour, which I can easily handle, and it leaves me with the rest of the time to enjoy the event with my family.  I like having a role as a volunteer because it helps me meet even more people in our wonderful neighborhood.”

If you can help with setup or for a 1-1/2 hour shift during the event, please call the NENA office at (612) 724-5652 or send Rita an email at   Please indicate any preferences in terms of area assignment and time of shift.  We will get back to you with details of your assignment.


Previous Years

In 2010, a snowstorm and zero temps made it difficult for some families to attend. A layer of ice under the new snow made conditions too dangerous for the horses, so the hay rides were canceled. Yet, in spite of all that, every inch of the Nokomis Community Center was transformed into a veritable feast for the senses as residents of all ages from Nokomis East and surrounding neighborhoods came together to celebrate the New Year.

All of this was made possible by the remarkable efforts and energy of NENA volunteers and staff, Nokomis Community Center staff, and by the generous donations of many area businesses.

Roosevelt HS Jazz Ensemble

The Southwest High School Jazz Ensemble entertained guests with jazz and smooth pop in the lounge/reception area for the first hour of the party. (2009)


For the first hour of the evening, the Southwest HS Jazz Ensemble, entertained guests in the lounge. They played excellent jazz and pop classics. Starting at six, the DJ’s of KidsDance made their fifth annual appearance in the gymnasium, keeping children and parents alike boppin’ to a mix of contemporary pop and classic rock and roll. Also in the gym, kids had their faces artfully painted and played games to win candy and other prizes.

At the other end of the building, food and drink was served in the multipurpose room. Last year, the hungry crowd ate nearly 700 hot dogs and cleaned out several crockpots of Laura's Famous Chilidog Chile along with all the usual dog-fixins, over 8 cases of chips, 32 kegs of 1919 root beer and gallons of fruit punch.

A strolling magician captivated his audience with clever sleights-of-hand and creative animal baloons that delighted the young crowd. In the craft rooms, children created imaginative masks, noisemakers, and spin-art masterpieces to take home. Two Photo Booths, new for 2009, were set up across from the Craft Room.

2004 was the warmest night in the Night Before New Years Eve party's five-year history, and a light fog made it difficult to keep the paper bag lanterns lit. 2005 was a bit cooler with some light flurries, but the outdoor bonfire tempered the chill for the lines of people waiting to board the popular hayride. 2006 was mild also, with a light and wet snow. 2007 was more typical of a December night, but 2008's party was very cold with a snow at times heavy enough that many families were late arriving. Every year, the old-fashioned hay wagon, pulled by two sturdy white Percherons, is often heard more than seen in the dark as festive riders break into impromptu caroling. Back indoors, a traditional New Year’s countdown, complete with squawkers, poppers, and other noisemakers, always concludes the festivities.

2008 was a great night! With food, entertainment, crafts and games, residents celebrated the upcoming New Year with friends, family and neighbors in a safe, congenial environment. If you weren’t one of the roughly 1,000 participants at last year’s “Night Before New Year’s Eve Party,” you missed a truly magnificent event!

Percherons pulling the hay wagon

The hayride is always a popular destination and keeps the beautiful Percheron horses busy. Yes, it was that cold in 2008.



We’ll see you this December 30th!