The Now Center will offer music, entertainment and fireworks at its "Paint the Town Red" New Year's celebration.

The Now Center will offer music, entertainment and fireworks at its "Paint the Town Red" New Year's celebration.

The recently opened Now Center, at 2407 Beech Road, features children's activities, a talent show and Grammy-nominated Christian band Red at its New Year's Eve celebration that runs from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

Kendra Flack, an employee and member of the church, is in charge of the celebration and said the staff kicked around several ideas, including hosting a battle of the bands, prior to deciding on Red.

"We had talked about the idea for that and wanted a band that would draw a good crowd," she said.

Through a booking agent in Nashville, Flack managed to book the band that received a Grammy nomination with its first album, "Break the Silence."

Church executive ministry director Amy Keesee said word is spreading about the show.

"A lot of employees in New Albany are familiar with the band, Red, because they've heard them on the radio, and some said they've seen them on MTV," she said.

Although Red will be a headliner for the New Year's Eve celebration, local talent also will take the stage in a talent show.

According to Flack, judges will begin scanning talent-show applicants Dec. 27. The top 10 will open for Red.

"(Talent-show contestants) pay $25 for registration, and then we lined up auditions for the 27th. The top 10 will be chosen from there," she said. "There will be a panel of judges on New Year's that will select a winner, and they'll get a $500 cash prize."

With the talent show luring contestants of all ages, Keesee said, children who aren't participating in the talent show would have other activities to keep them busy.

"Children (up to age 11) can go to the children's party, and they have everything from food and games to drama," she said.

The highlight of the children's party will be a mystery, though.

"There will be a mystery party," Keesee said. "They'll have to solve a mystery. The whole night kids will have clues, scavenger hunts, video clues and all that. We have a team of people putting that on."

The mystery won't keep the children from a major event as the clocks hit midnight, though.

"They'll join the adults at the end of the night for the countdown and fireworks," Keesee said.

According to Flack, the Now Center convinced the same group that does Red, White and Boom for Columbus to put on a fireworks show at midnight.

The Now Center will have 750 tickets available for the event that could start a tradition for New Year's Eve.

"There's not a whole lot in Columbus that would be something for the whole family on New Year's," Keesee said. "There's First Night, but it's a little intimidating. This will offer something on the east side that would be accessible for everyone."

Tickets for the event are $30 for a front-stage pass, $10 for general admission and $5 for children ages 12 and under.

Tickets may be purchased at ticketmaster.com or ticketweb.com.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com