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First Night Nears

First Night has been a Westport mainstay for 19 years.

But — unlike many local institutions — organizers seem content with low-key marketing.

There’s a button-choosing contest, some newspaper inserts, and posters and displays around town. But they don’t bombard the media with dozens of requests for coverage, and they don’t email updates every time they add a new Scottish dancer to their entertainment roster.

So I’ve decided to do some publicity for them.

First Night is one of those reasons why you move your young family to Westport. It’s traditional, it’s fun, it goes on for several hours, there’s plenty to do, you see friends and folks you haven’t seen all year, and — well, maybe this is the reason some people don’t like it — it’s alcohol-free.

This year’s lineup includes an antique car parade down Main Street; music from  For the Heart, Chris Coogan, Mark Naftalin, Leslie Orofino, Bob Lasprogato and (of course) Washboard Slims and the Bluelights; puppets, ice sculptures, ballroom dancing, animal caricatures, square dancing, fortune-telling, drumming, face painting, food — and, at 10;30 p.m., a laser show set to music over the Post Road Bridge.

Buttons ($15; children under 2 go free) are available at www.firstnightww.com, and at all venues — the library, Toquet Hall, Westport Family Y, Christ & Holy Trinity Church, Seabury Center, Historical Society, Town Hall, TD Bank and Moja Cafe — the day of the event.

Oh, yeah. That day is Monday:  December 31. First Night is the last night of 2012.

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