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First Night full of family tradition

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By Taylor Pettaway | taylor.pettaway@bostonherald.com | Boston Herald
December 31, 2018 at 10:52 pm

A blind date more than 30 years ago started a tradition for the Kenions that the Boston couple celebrated anew during Boston’s First Night festivities Monday.

Married 34 years, Melanie and Stephen Kenion told the Herald about how he called her one fateful New Year’s Eve and ended up asking her on a date.

“I said, ‘I don’t know a Stephen so you better talk fast or I’m going to hang up,’” Melanie said.

The rest is history. But every year, they share their special day at Boston’s annual First Night event to celebrate the new year with the rest of New England.

“I mean come on, this is our city,” Stephen said. “It is the best because it is a good mix of the city, there is everyone here.

“This year we just want to wish everyone the best of everything, whatever is good for you and yours,” he added.

Musical performances, ice sculpting, a massive parade and more helped Bostonians ring in 2019 at the annual celebration.

“I am so excited (to be onstage) it definitely means a lot to me,” said 15-year old Alli Haber, who sang at First Night. “It is perfect because it is something special for my city, a great opportunity and I am just super excited.”

“We couldn’t be happier, we have thousands of smiling faces in this city,” added First Night spokesman TK Skenderian. “There is supposed to be rain tonight but we have been waiting all year to ring in 2019, this is Boston, it’s going to take more than a few raindrops to scare us away.”

Crowds at Boston Common and Copley Square were abuzz as people braved the cold to be with loved ones before 2019 began.

For many, the event is tradition. E Quinlan said she remembered bringing her daughter, then just 6 years old, to the very first First Night.

“I remember following the parade route, dancing the whole way,” Quinlan said. “It was freezing but so great, such a great time and lots of fun.”

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