By Carey Codd

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Downtown Countdown in Fort Lauderdale gave New Year’s revelers a free and family-friendly way to celebrate the beginning of 2019.

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The event featured lots of fun for the youngest at heart like bounce houses, games and face painting.

“It’s great for kids because it’s wholesome, it’s relatively safe,” said Matthew Theisen. “It’s a festive atmosphere.”

For those attending the party, their sights were focused on 2019. Everyone spoke of goals, hopes, and wishes for the New Year. Kelecia Thompson is joining the U.S. Army.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for other people so when I come out hopefully I can be a police officer,” she said.

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Others had goals they’d like to see for the country as a whole.

“I definitely hope to have less violence, less shootings,” said Leanne Brooks. “It’s terrible. A little more happiness. People be kinder to one another.”

“For everybody to have peace and love and joy,” said Dana Orban. “No more hatred. All good things.”

An enormous anchor hung over the main stage at the party. It weighs 700 pounds and is decorated with nearly 12-thousand LED lights.

Once the clock strikes midnight, the anchor will drop and the anticipation of a new year with the chance for new beginnings and new achievements will be ushered in.

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“Everybody always comes out here to reboot in a way and to pick up on everybody’s energy and hopefully everybody strives on their new goals for next year,” said Steven Billaquiran.