Helping Bill Shontz out on stage at the Shea Theater New Year's Evening are Scarlet Pouliot, 3, of Turners Falls, Patrick Andrews, 4, of Greenfield and Emery Thompson, 4, of Greenfield during the Bill Shontz Young Person's Show. Recorder/Paul FranzRecorder/Paul Franz
Helping Bill Shontz out on stage at the Shea Theater New Year's Evening are Scarlet Pouliot, 3, of Turners Falls, Patrick Andrews, 4, of Greenfield and Emery Thompson, 4, of Greenfield during the Bill Shontz Young Person's Show. Recorder/Paul Franz
Kids and adults dance to the Bill Shontz Young Person’s Show at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls on New Year’s Eve.
MONTAGUE — Lucas Andrews’ New Year’s resolution is to become Superman.
Lucas, 8, of Greenfield, was with his father, little brother and grandparents at the Shea Theater on New Year’s Eve for the family-friendly “New Bridge-New Year” show.
The first of three acts was the Bill Shontz young persons show, where an entirely different take on the new year and the year passed could be found among the young spectators.
Lucas has a practical reason for his resolution; little brother Patrick, 4, is studying Tae Kwon Do with his grandfather, and is very energetic.
“I hope that I get a weight set so I can get stronger than him and he can’t beat me up,” Lucas said.
“You want to be Superman?” asked his father, Christopher Andrews. “Yeah, I want to be Superman,” said Lucas.
The grins suggest the sibling rivalry isn’t too serious.
Lucas had a good year: he is in third grade, enjoyed his birthday cake and got to see his cousins in Virginia.
Emma Haarmann, 8, also had a good year.
“I got to go ice skating,” Emma said. This was her second time.
Looking ahead to the coming year, Emma’s mother, Melissa McDonough, said she just wants to have a good year.
“It’s got to be better than 2013,” said father Andy McNally. The family recently moved to Turners Falls from Monson, and McNally said he likes all the activities in their new village.
Also looking ahead to the coming year, Emma said she hopes for a pig.
“I want a pot-belly pig,” she elaborated. This pig would be named “Piggie.”
Holden Garofalo, 7, has similarly unusual hopes for the new year.
“I hope I lose a ton more teeth,” Holden said.
Holden also said 2013 was a good year, mainly because he lost a lot of teeth, showing a grin absent his two front teeth.
Holden’s father, Mike Ekblom of Greenfield, said he hopes Holden grows some new ones as well.
Ekblom, attending the show with Holden and 4-year-old twins Delia and Isabella, said 2013 was a good year.
“Challenging but good, and I’m hoping 2014 will be even a little bit better,” Ekblom said.
Sisters Bethany McMahon of Greenfield and Kimberly Pouliot of Turners Falls both had mixed years.
“My dad passed away in April so that was a bad part, but that was just before we found out we were expecting, so that was obviously good news, so we’re looking forward to next year and all of Ruby’s firsts,” McMahon said. Ruby is six weeks old, and this was her first concert.
“I grew up listening to Rosenshontz, so I was pumped to bring her,” McMahon said.
Singer and musician Bill Shontz was one half of the popular 1970s and ’80s children’s music duo, and had the children dancing and singing in front of the stage. Three accompanied him on noisemakers for one song.
Ruby was too young to do more than watch from her mother’s arms, but her cousin Scarlett, 3, was an enthusiastic participant.
Pouliot, Scarlett’s mother, said the year had its high points. She and her husband both got new jobs, and they’re expecting a new baby.
“The good definitely outweighed the bad,” she said, and she looks forward to a growing family in 2014.
The concert was a free event hosted by the Shea Theater and sponsored by a number of local businesses, partly in celebration of the new year and partly in celebration of the new bridge.
The Turners Falls-Gill Bridge reopened to two-way traffic in November. Residents have now experienced their first full month of easy access to and from Route 2 since the $40.7 million project began in 2010, and travelers on Route 2 can stop off in Turners Falls without a lengthy detour to get back out.
A Department of Transportation spokesman said this fall the project was on track for full completion in April, with occasional closures or other traffic interference possible until then.
Michael Glazier, president of the Shea’s board of directors, said Turners Falls was experiencing a period of revitalization when the project began, and the constricted access has impacted the community deeply.
Glazier’s hope for the new year is that people will return to Turners Falls in numbers.
“We’re hoping that revitalization of the arts and culture community comes back to where it was before the project began,” he said.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 257