First Night Danbury marks its 25th milestone anniversary on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, December 31st, 5:00 – 9:00pm, by bringing back favorite past performers to ring in the New Year throughout CityCenter. The weather outside won’t be frightful, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and you may still have no place to go, so wrap up the kids and grandparents, don your best holiday caps, and join in a Danbury Downtown year-end tradition.
First Night Danbury was founded in 1989 by volunteers. One of only three First Nights in Connecticut and about 40 throughout the US, the event prides itself on being family-friendly. First Night was adopted by CityCenter Danbury seven years ago in order to rebuild and recognize First Night’s potential for significant impact on the downtown arts and business community, as well as to provide an alcohol free alternative to ringing in the New Year. First Night’s theme this year is chosen appropriately: “Make New Friends, Keep the Old.” The Auld Lang Syne maxim continues with “These are Silver, Those are Gold.” Appropriately, First Night has invited the participation of favorite past First Night entertainments as it heralds in a new 25 years.
They include the Mad Hatters Barbershop Chorus and the New Hope Mass Choir (both first performed at First Night in 1989); internationally acclaimed flautist Sherry Winston; children’s entertainer John Fogarty; singer-songwriters Bob Stanhope and Lara Herscovitch; the comedy musical trio, The Coconuts; Boston’s Funny Guy, Robert Clarke; Off Broadway’s Monday Night magician Peter Samelson; the amazing ice sculptures of Ice Matters; and CityCenter’s unofficial “ambassador” of goodwill, Magic Marty. In this year’s program, you’ll find tidbits of history, and we’re sure you’ll remember cherished moments from First Nights past. But there will also be the New. Light and LED, high atop the Patriot Garage, will close out the evening as we count down to the New Year. The spectacular finale, beginning at 8:30pm, will feature performances by Fractal Phenomenon and Boston-based Cirque de Light and, as tradition calls for, hot cider and cookies courtesy of The Danbury Parking Authority.
If you want to get an early start, First Night will hold a Special 25th Anniversary Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 4:15 to 5:00pm at St. James Church. Mayor Mark Boughton will make a proclamation; The Silvertones, a group of 62 to 95-year-old “hipsters” will regale you; Mrs. Connecticut USA Universal 2015, Susan Bawlick Pagan, will add a touch of “glam;” and a Carillon Concert will kick off First Night’s 4 hours of diverse and celebratory entertainments. Host venues, all within walking distance, include the Danbury Ice Arena, Danbury Public Library, Danbury Music Centre, Palace Danbury, St. James Church, Heirloom Arts Theatre, and the Danbury Innovation Center.