‘First Night’ In Jeopardy

What the economy did not do to First Night Westport-Weston, Mother Nature might.

First Night Westport-WestonLast New Year’s Eve’s wind and cold — along with advisories to stay off the road — sharply curtailed attendance at the 15th annual townwide celebration.  Ticket sales were down a bit — but the terrible weather delivered the real devastating punch.

The loss of revenue means last year’s event might be the last.

As spring arrives, First Night executive director Denise Torv is looking ahead to winter.

“It’s one of the few community events that attracts people of all ages — including teens,” she says. “And unlike a lot of other New Year’s Eve activities, this one is alcohol-free.”

Torv knows that all non-profits are hurting.  But, she says, First Night is different.

Fireworks in winter -- a tradition endangered, along with First Night

Fireworks in winter -- a tradition endangered, along with First Night

“It brings the entire community together — friends, families, neighbors, visitors — to welcome the new year in.”

Fortunately, Torv says, First Night’s budget is “comparatively small.”  It will take only a “modest contribution” from the community to continue.

But, she says, Westporters must decide if they want the tradition to last.  And they must decide now.

How will Torv know if Westport wants a 16th First Night?  Click the “Comments” section at the top or bottom of this story.  Or email firstnight@westportct.gov.

(Click here for the official First Night Westport-Weston web site.)

One response to “‘First Night’ In Jeopardy

  1. Kendall & Linda Smith

    First Night IS the one event that brings all ages of Westporters together and we hope it continues. I’ve written to Denise Torv to ask where people can send in some small donations to put our money where our mouth is if we really hope First Night will continue in Westport for its 16th year! Dan, perhaps you can put a snail mail address of where contributions can be sent.