Ten, nine, eight, seven ... '13!

The new year got off to a festive start Monday night in downtown Westport as "First Night" revels ushered out the old and celebrated the new with a varied slate of fun and entertainment.

"It's our family tradition," said Elizabeth Baldwin of Westport, whose family came to the New Year's Eve events for the sixth year in a row.

"It's family-oriented," she said. "Lots of children -- child-friendly -- and the beautiful horse and carriage rides."

Activities were staged over a nearly eight-hour period at venues around the town center, including bands and dancing, face painting, ice sculpting and a performance of two one-act plays in the Town Hall theater.

Beginning at 4 p.m., close to a dozen venues hosted around 25 activities, culminating with a "Laser Jam" light show near the Post Road bridge.

"We've had a few little glitches," said Barbara Pearson-Rac, the First Night chairwoman. "Otherwise it's going fine."

"It's all about community and family," she said. "People come out to celebrate the new year."

"It's fabulous," Pearson-Rac added. "It's a safe, family-friendly environment for people to wander around."