First Night?

Have you heard anything about First Night?

Neither have I.

Just 2 days before the 17th annual event, there’s been almost no publicity about the annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

They never asked me for some press — or any other media outlet, it seems.

But I appreciate all that these hard-working volunteers do to make New Year’s special (and, swimming against the tide, alcohol-free).  So here goes:

This year’s festivities begin at 4 p.m.  They end at 9:30, with fireworks on Jesup Green.  (Toquet Hall is open until midnight.  Teenagers, you know.)

There are over 30 events for “children of all ages”:  music, puppets, square dancing, face painting, caricaturists, arts and crafts, psychics and more.  The featured attraction is blues pianist Mark Naftalin, who has played with Van Morrison, Etta James, Buddy Guy and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Food, too.

All venues are downtown — the library, Y, Town Hall, TD Bank, Seabury Center and the Westport Historical Society — making it a compact, walkable event.

Admission is by First Night button ($15 each, kids under 2 free).  They’re available at the library, Y, Senior Center, Trader Joe’s, Oscar’s, TD Bank Main Street, Weston Hardware, and Fitness Edge Norwalk.  Or you can buy them online (click here).

It’s a shame First Night hasn’t sought more publicity.  It’s a fun, community-type event.

Oh, yeah.  The weather forecast for Friday night is mostly clear, with temperatures in the upper 20s.

Not a snowflake in sight.

(For more information on First Night, click here.)

10 responses to “First Night?

  1. Hi Dan – The Minuteman Newspaper hired me to write an article about First Night 2010, which was published Dec. 15. I pasted the link in above … . Credit to Miggs Burroughs who, once again, designed the nice-looking First Night Button that is posted on your blog.

  2. Or if all else fails, you can go to Burlington, Vermont’s First Night where Westport’s own Jon Gailmor will be performing–as he has for, what? the past 15 years or so? Which is why, of course, in his wisdom, he lives there.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Jon Gailmor? Professor Decker? Takes me back to the good ole 60’s where we would go to Port Chester and get teenage drunk (3 beers/chaser) and head back to Nyala Farms to ride the cows. Joe Tex was there on New Year’s Eve, ’65, singing “Hold What You’ve Got” Have you ever ridden a cow with a belly full of beer? You ain’t holding much down.
    Good times but much more civilized with First Night. Nice tradition.
    P.S. Drinking age was 18 in New York back then.

  4. The Dude speaks the truth; I was there, but not at Nyala, thankfully. Yes, First Night is an excellent tradition in Westport and in VT, where our classmate Jon G holds forth.

  5. My weather map says a high of 41 tomorrow afternoon, Dan, and a low of only 32 at night, not nearly as bad as the upper 20s you predict! Great balmy weather for walking around the downtown area with grandkids and enjoying the performers.

  6. Fran Southworth

    Hi Dan! I’ll be singing with Chris Coogan, my husband Jeff Southworth, my son who you know pretty well, Alan Southworth, Sarah Peck and Barry Urich as soon as he finishes with Mark Naftalin! We’re doing music from the 1930s to current songs. Something for everyone. Lots of fun music at The Seabury Center at 7:30PM. A second different set at 8:30PM. Hope you can come!!!!!
    Frannie Southworth

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  8. If you still need a button just stop by the “Y” and we will be happy to sell you as many as you need. Have fun at First Night, be safe and have a great 2011.