Some U.S. cities ring in New Year early

Dec. 30, 2006 at 11:55 AM

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- At least two Utah cities are celebrating New Year's Eve a day early to appeal to Mormons who might frown on revelry on Sunday, officials said.

"We're just not going to get good enough attendance if we hold it on Sunday," said Marc Mortensen, coordinator of St. George's alcohol-free First Night celebration. The other First Night event is in Provo.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not request the parties be moved up. In fact, a philanthropic arm of the church is among the sponsors of First Night Salt Lake, which is being held Sunday, The New York Times notes.

Many Georgia bars and nightclubs are not allowed to open Sundays, so some promised day-early celebrations as well.

The Star Bar in Atlanta was throwing its "big fat honkin' New Year's Eve party" Saturday night.

"It's the first time in 15 years that I haven't worked in a bar on New Year's Eve," owner Dave Parker said. "Even though it's killing business for us, it's making my wife very happy."

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