First Night Burlington | Various downtown Burlington locations | Holidays | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
These community event listings are sponsored by the WaterWheel Foundation, a project of the Vermont band Phish.


First Night Burlington

When: Sun., Dec. 31, 11-12 a.m. 2017

No matter how you feel about what happened in 2017, it’s always exciting to welcome a new year and all its possibilities. Vermonters in Burlington and St. Johnsbury dive into the year in the First Night tradition of substance-free celebrations focused on the arts.

First Night Burlington is the longest-standing private celebration of its kind in the country, and it’s clear from the wide-ranging lineup of entertainment that its organizers have considered every angle. Now in its 35th year, this family-friendly fest includes nearly an entire day of artsy amusements across downtown venues. A few highlights include storytelling by Seven Days columnist Jernigan Pontiac, the Dancing Dragons Parade on the Church Street Marketplace, and rocking concerts by Swale and Gang of Thieves on the Flynn MainStage. Kiddos aren’t left out in the cold: Face painting, theater and dance performances, and even an instrument petting zoo presented by Young Tradition Vermont let little ones in on the fun.

The Northeast Kingdom knows how to party, too. First Night North in St. Johnsbury offers more than 100 shows in 18 performance venues. Comics such as Hillary Boone elicit laughs, Marko the Magician & Hypnotist inspires awe and wonder, and Vermont Vaudeville serves up its signature style of musical comedy. While this 25th annual bash hosts an eclectic mix of hard-hitting performers, music is the main attraction. Are you a folk fan? Check out Chickweed and Low Lily. Care for klezmer? Catch the Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band. Planning to don your dancing shoes? Dash over to Streeter Hall at St. Johnsbury Academy for the Swing North Big Band. Finally, folks in St. Johnsbury and Burlington can revel in the first moments of 2018 with dazzling midnight fireworks displays. Happy New Year!

Price: $5-42 for First Night button; free for kids under 3; some shows require additional $5 tickets.

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