Weather brings out crowds, cancels fireworks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Balmy temperatures brought out big crowds for New Year's Eve celebrations in several Missouri cities, even though windy conditions cut down on some of the fun.

Organizers for Springfield's First Night festivities estimate more than 7,000 people turned out Saturday night for family-friendly activities at several venues. But the Springfield News-Leader (http://sgfnow.co/sBla74) reports the traditional midnight fireworks show was cancelled as winds gusted up to 30 mph.

Officials in Columbia called off two fireworks displays scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and midnight, amid forecasts of winds gusting to nearly 50 mph. Still, hundreds of people found plenty to enjoy amid music, dancing and other entertainment.

The First Night festivities in St. Louis attracted a bigger-than-normal crowd of nearly 20,000 people. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/tKWkGT) that two fireworks shows went on as scheduled.

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