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Celebrating 2024 Fond du Lac-style: family-friendly ways the community is celebrating the new year

Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-29 18:39:57-05

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — We are just days away from the start of 2024, and Fond du Lac is getting ready to celebrate!

Local bars are hosting events to ring in the new year; but for those looking to stay sober this holiday season, the Gratitude Club of Fond du Lac is hosting an alcohol-free evening of food and games.

“For people that might struggle going to a bar or restaurant or something on New Year's Eve, we're giving an alternative to those people,” Gratitude Club manager Ellen Buretta said.

Plus the Fond du Lac YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club are hosting their annual “New Year’s Eve Bash” with waterslide access, a bouncy house, and a balloon drop!

The event has been going on for 13 years but this year, fundraising from local corporate sponsors allows the event to be totally free!

“We typically see somewhere around 500 people come to the event,” Fond du Lac Family YMCA CEO JJ Raflik said. “So this year, with it being completely free to the community, maybe we'll see that even go up a little higher.

And, a new business in town is ringing in the new year for even younger kids.

Wonder Cafe just had its soft opening two weeks ago. It’s a unique combination of coffee shop and play area, which owner Tristin Holzmann said she’s excited to show the community this weekend with snacks, play and another balloon drop.

“It's something fun and new and unique,” Holzmann said.

Just outside Fond du Lac, Plymouth is celebrating its designation as the “cheese capital of the world” with its annual cheese drop, where a giant metal block of cheese is lowered into the street downtown.

Donna Hahn with the Plymouth Arts Center said this is a way to celebrate the four major cheese companies in the community.

“Many of our folks work at the cheese company so it really is a community-wide event,” Hahn said.