First Night is an outdoor artistic and cultural celebration on New Year's Eve, taking place from afternoon until midnight. Since it happens on New Year's Eve, First Night celebrations are actually held on the last night of the old year. The real first night occurs on New Year's Day. First Night celebrates a community's local culture, often featuring music, dance, comedy, art, and always has plenty of food, fireworks, and ice sculptures.
Most entertainment is freely available outside, but admission to indoor events requires the simple purchase of a First Night button, whose profits support the celebration as a whole. First Night Celebrations are generally alcohol free.
First Night began in Boston in 1976 by a small group of artists, and its popularity quickly made it a recurring event. Soon other surrounding communities started their own First Night celebrations. In 1993, First Night International became a non-profit organization dedicated to helping other cities set up their own celebrations. It has since spread to cities all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand.
Following September 11, 2001, First Night Celebrations around the country started to decline, with several going bankrupt. Even First Night Boston had difficulties in reaching its financial goals. Alternatively, other celebrations have sprung up. For example, in 2003, First Night Providence announced they would not be able to continue their celebration which had been continuing for 19 years. A group of local artists banded together to create Bright Night Providence, an artist-run New Year's Eve celebration based on the idea and spirit of First Night.
FIRST NIGHT FEVER SARATOGA SPRINGS JOINS ALBANY IN THE THE RANKS OF CITIES THAT THROW WIDE-RANGING, FAMILY-STYLE NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES.(PREVIEW)
Dec 26, 1996; Byline: GREG HAYMES Staff writer What are you doing New Year's Eve? For the past 10 years, thousands of people around the Capital...