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Tag Archives: Jen Tooker
For the past 4 years, Jim Marpe has been a familiar presence at First Night. Westport’s 1st selectman sits happily at Saugatuck Elementary School, welcoming families to the fun, festive New Year’s Eve event.
As he begins his 2nd term, Marpe is not the only selectman volunteering at the turn-the-calendar celebration. Running mate Jen Tooker will belt out karaoke at Seabury Center on Church Lane.
Those are just 2 highlights of our 24th annual First Night. The family-friendly, alcohol-free festival has become an integral part of local life. This year it’s stronger than ever — even as other First Nights around the country have faded away.
Westport’s First Night survives because leaders like Marpe and Tooker — and plenty of area residents — value its small-town ambience, relaxed fun and wide range of activities.
No one knows what 2018 holds. But everyone can count on these December 31 activities:
- Musical performances from Broadway, movies, jazz and the blues — including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mark Naftalin, award-winning pianist Chris Coogan, musical theater great Michele Grace and the School of Rock
- A hypnotist
- Train displays
- Saugatuck School’s Kids Park, with indoor bounce houses, dancing, sing-alongs, balloon twisters, caricatures, a Magic Genie and ventriloquist
- Horse-drawn carriage rides
- Theater acts
- Puppet shows
- A warming fire
- Stargazing with the Westport Astronomical Society
- Family Zumba classes
- Psychic readings
- Fireworks by the river
Sites include Saugatuck Elementary School, Toquet Hall, the Westport Historical Society, Christ & Holy Trinity Church, Seabury Center, Jesup Green and more.
All performances are within walking distance. Free shuttles run from Jesup Green to Saugatuck Elementary.
First Night kicks off at 3:30 p.m., and runs through 10. Fireworks shoot off at 8 p.m.
All you need is a button. They’re $15 each (kids under 2 are free), available online or at Trader Joe’s, Westport Library, Westport Historical Society, and Westport and Weston Town Halls. They’re also for sale on First Night itself at Town Hall and all venues.
Get yours now. They’re going fast.
Just say Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker sent you.
(For more information, click here.)
They came from Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk — and Roxbury and New York City.
They were politicians, musicians, and (probably) a mathematician.
They ranged in age from 6 years old to (at least) 89.
They mixed, mingled, ate and drank.
They talked about everything under the sun — and the sun itself. Fortunately temperatures cooled, a breeze blew in, and the sunset was one of the most spectacular of the year.
Everyone there did not agree on everything — after all, last night was a party, but it was still “06880.”
Yet everyone agreed that wherever we live, we’re lucky to be part of this amazing community — online, and in real Compo Beach life.
Thanks to the 100 or so folks who came to last night’s bash. If you missed it: See you next year!