When: Sat., Dec. 31, 4 p.m.-12 a.m. 2016
In keeping with the First Night tradition of a substance-free celebration focused on the arts, both St. Johnsbury and Burlington welcome the Year of the Rooster in style with full rosters of family-friendly entertainment.
For the 24th year, St. Johnsbury hosts the Northeast Kingdom’s largest showcase of the arts. While the newly renamed First Night North in St. Johnsbury offers nearly 100 shows by 340 performers ranging from comics and storytellers to poets and puppeteers, music is the main attraction. Folk, rock, jazz, bluegrass, sacred, classical and pop tunes ring out courtesy of players such as Kingdom All Stars, Milkbone, Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing, and Tritium Well. Though the air on December 31 is almost certain to be chilly, temperatures rise when Phoenix Bazaar light the night with an incendiary outdoor fire show.
Over in the Queen City, the young and the young at heart can be a part of First Night Burlington, the longest-running New Year’s Eve celebration of its kind in the country. Kid-friendly features include performing arts classes, music, crafts, high-flying antics by Circus Smirkus and short films presented by Vermont International Film Foundation. Grown-ups can get into the groove with live music at venues all across the city’s downtown area. Jazz fans, take note: Vermont’s nationally known pop-jazz quartet Kilimanjaro makes a rare Green Mountain State appearance at Flynn MainStage. Finally, folks can revel in the first moments of 2017 with a midnight fireworks display on Church Street. Happy New Year!