Area residents are flocking to local stores to get ready to ring in the new year, and plenty of retailers are targeting that holiday market.
Reba Bettwy, manager at Everyday's a Party in Altoona, said New Year's Eve is the second biggest shopping holiday for the party supplier, beaten only by Halloween.
"[New Year's] is sort of the second coming for us," she said.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Bonnie and John Linder of Tipton shop for New Year’s party favors at Party Town & Novelty on Union Avenue Monday. Store, markets and bars started preparing for an increase in customers.
Bettwy said the party supply store stocks tiaras, noisemakers, shot glasses, balloons and other products to help people bring in 2014, and the store expects to see most of the items go.
She said that she sees holidays like New Year's Eve trending more toward families, as people are now planning more gatherings at home.
"It's seemed more family-oriented rather than people going out," Bettwy said. "We see a lot more shoppers bringing children in."
Supermarkets are also seeing a few more faces as people plan their holiday dinners.
Kyle Trinka, a manager at Hometown Market in Hollidaysburg, said the grocery store is stocking a little extra of the main targets for shoppers - pork, hot dogs and other meats.
"Meat departments are big during the holidays," Trinka said.
He said that Hometown Market seeks to be a "one-stop shop" for people picking up meal components. The store tries to make sure to target holiday shoppers with its seasonal offerings.
Area bars will also be open until the early hours on Jan. 1 to help celebrate the new year. Club Coconuts, The Island and Champs Sports Grill are among the Altoona bars that will host events on New Year's Eve, according to their websites.
And for those who do choose to partake, there are a number of initiatives in place to help keep everyone safe.
The Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board have partnered for the HERO campaign during the holiday season to help remind residents to set a designated driver and to not drink and drive, according to a release.
The program kicked off Dec. 19, and Pennsylvania is the fifth state to get involved.
"This is the time of year when people will gather with friends, colleagues and family to enjoy time together and celebrate the upcoming holidays. Often, those social events include alcohol," PLCB Chairman Joseph E. Brion said in the release. "We encourage our licensees to provide a free beverage option for those who make what could be a life-saving decision to forgo alcohol. If you're getting behind the wheel, one alcoholic drink is one alcoholic drink too many."
Bar hoppers in Blair and Cambria counties can also call for a free taxi ride home as part of the "Take a Cab" program. In Blair, the program is in its 10th year and is co-sponsored by Edgar Snyder and Associates, WTAJ-TV and Pyramid Healthcare.
Anyone in need of a ride can call 944-3210, extension 120. Cambria County is implementing the program for the first time this year, and rides will be offered to anyone within a 15-mile radius of Johnstown by calling 535-4584.
Mirror Staff Writer Paige Minemyer is at 946-7535.