Tag Archives: New Year’s Eve

Unsung Heroes #80

On Monday night, the frenzy of holiday preparations was over.

Gifts were bought and wrapped. Trees were trimmed. Even the stockings had been hung by the chimney (with care).

Christmas Eve was a time to relax.

Unless you were working.

Home for the holidays? Not everyone.

Police officers, firefighters, EMTs — all were on call, on duty, away from their families. For many who serve in Westport, those families live quite a ways away.

Doctors, nurses, technicians and orderlies were working too. And all those people employed in nursing homes.

Plus cooks, wait staff and dishwashers, at restaurants that offered a Christmas Eve meal.

Of course, clergy and church staff were on the clock as well.

Some of those same folks worked yesterday — Christmas — itself.

And it’s all repeated next Monday, on New Year’s Eve. (Except for the religious services.)

Of course, there will be more restaurants and bars open.

Those trains don’t run themselves.

Not to mention everyone working on Metro-North, for the revelers going to Times Square.

Trust me, the return trip is not one you sign up for.

So to all everyone who was on the job Christmas Eve, or Christmas day. And all those who will work New Year’s Eve:

Thanks for being there for us. We don’t always thank you — or even know who you are.

You’re all this week’s Unsung Heroes, for sure.

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.)