First Night Burlington | Various downtown Burlington locations | Holidays | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Holidays

First Night Burlington

When: Thu., Dec. 31, 11-12 a.m. 2015

The First Night tradition was born in Boston in 1976 as a substance-free New Year’s Eve celebration focused on the arts. Both Burlington and St. Johnsbury carry the torch, swinging into the Year of the Monkey with amusements ranging from music, dance and movies to comedy, magic and circus arts — with some dazzling pyrotechnics for good measure.

St. Johnsbury residents can take their pick from what event president Jay Sprout estimates to be 56 unique shows by more than 200 artists in 20 venues, but music is the main attraction. Folk, rock, bluegrass, Broadway, country and classical players add to the lineup welcoming event first-timers such as the Atlantic Effect and Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band alongside returning players Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing. For the more visually inclined, Phoenix Bazaar put on an incendiary outdoor fire show while the Catamount Arts Center shows Ma and Pa Kettle films and Three Stooges shorts. Out late? A pancake supper fuels nighttime revelers.

The Queen City keeps pace, transforming into a living, breathing showcase of local talent. Kid-friendly festivities include performing-arts classes, music, crafts, high-flying antics courtesy of Circus Smircus and a cartoon fest at Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas. Grown-ups can get down to live tunes all afternoon and evening at venues across Burlington. With such an extensive roster, you may wish you could be in two places at once, but we think rising stars Madaila and Kat Wright & the Indomitable Soul Band are must-sees at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Marking the first moments of the New Year with a bang is a midnight fireworks display on Church Street. Let’s do this, 2016!

Price: $5-15 First Night button; free for kids under 3; some shows require additional $5 tickets.

Add a review

Rating

Select a star to rate.

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.