Friday Flashback #173

After more than 2 decades of “First Night”s, Tuesday marks the 2nd New Year’s Eve without the long tradition.

It ended last year. Several factors — including fewer volunteers, decreasing corporate sponsors and dropping attendance — led to the end of the family-friendly, alcohol-free event.

In a few years, First Night will join other season celebrations — Festival Italiano, anyone? — in the “remember when?” category.

For now, here’s a fond look back at First Nights past:

Horse-drawn sleighs roamed downtown. Photo/Dan Woog)

Fireworks over the Saugatuck (Drone photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

A mother wrangles her young son at the Saugatuck Elementary School bounce house. (Photo/Dan Woog)

The Westport Astronomical Society hauled out some serious telescopes. (Photo/Dan Woog)

And, for good measure, let’s remember the Christmas crane that towered over Westport just 4 years ago, during the construction of Bedford Square.

(Photo/Wendy Cusick)


3 responses to “Friday Flashback #173

  1. Robert Mitchell

    First Night may be gone, but Westport Museum for History & Culture picked up the ball last year with its First Light Festival – family-friendly celebrations including carriage rides around town..The festival will be presented again this year – check it out at:

  2. Happy to say that First Light Festival 2019 is ON!
    The Westport Museum (formerly WHS) is carrying on the tradition of fun family-friendly activities starting at 4pm. The town is happy to endorse and support the Museum’s efforts to keep this annual event alive. (It was a smaller, last minute success last year even in the rain.) So join the fun and start your own family’s history of New Year’s Eve traditions! And the weather looks to be in our favor. Enjoy!

  3. First Night may be over, but First Light is back for the second year in a row. The Westport History Museum is offering an evening of family friendly fun on New Year’s Eve with events at the museum and around town. Check out the details at