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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Last Night First Night


For years I've been hearing about the tradition of "First Night"- when a whole community comes together for an alcohol-free, family friendly New Year's Eve celebration. It started in Boston about 15 or 20 years ago, and now hundreds of towns have them. Usually, there will be an opening parade, closing fireworks, and in between events of all kids, hosted at dozens of venues - churches, schools, bank lobbies... there are dances, fun runs, magicians and jugglers, music of all kinds. You get the idea - a place to celebrate the passing of the year where you can bring your kids (and parents), avoid the wild drinking, and do it as part of something larger than yourself and your private circle of friends.

I've always wished someone would do one around here. This year I decided it had to happen, and my community center would host and organize. We got a late start so it was small, plus we found out we couldn't call it First Night without paying a steep licensing fee - way out of reach for a tiny town and organization like ours. (Hey, First Night people, maybe you could add a few more levels down near the bottom of your scale!) Despite our late start we were lucky enough to be able to book the Grumbling Gryphons children's theater group, MaTica Arts, and other fine performers, and the turnout was terrific, just what I'd hoped for. We'll do it even bigger and better next year!

9 Comments:

Blogger Ruth said...

So cool. Congratulations on taking matters into your own hands! Often that's the only way to get things done!

3:18 PM  
Blogger tut-tut said...

It is a great idea. I was at the first FIrst Night in Boston/Cambridge many years ago. How did you get those girls all to wear pink (even on the bottom of one's sneakers)?

4:17 PM  
Blogger Curly said...

Hi Jenny,

looks like they are playing with fire, I haven't been here for a while and gee you have some nice pictures here!

Happy New Year!

Curly's Photoshop

6:15 PM  
Blogger Mile Stones said...

All credit to you for getting that together. Real community! I bet the people were grateful to have something like this to attend.
But I don't understand why you'd have to pay for calling it First Night as well. What exactly would you be paying for?

7:20 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Way to go for organizing that! I think it's better that you did an exclusively local event that suited your community, rather than fitting it into the First Night mold.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

So what did you end up calling it? Is the subject of your photo the name of your event? Good for you, taking the bull by the horns. I think you have started a grand tradition.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Keropok Man said...

Hmmm this is the first time i have heard of First Night. How interesting. I am sure next year's would be better!

2:15 AM  
Blogger Olivier said...

tres belle photo, d'un moment de joie et de bonheur.

very beautiful photograph, one moment of joy and happiness.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Chad Oneil said...

Very cool.

11:13 PM  

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