First Night Worcester ready for New Year’s Eve

Exciting new performers, venues and activities set for First Night ‘16

Contact Information:
Howard McGinn, Executive Director (508) 799-4909 or

WORCESTER, MA – [December 1, 2015]First Night Worcester is set and ready to go for this year’s arts celebration.  Heading into its 35th year of operation, the nonprofit is the oldest First Night in the nation and has produced a New Year’s Eve arts festival in downtown Worcester every year since 1981. “We’re really excited for this year’s show,” said Howard McGinn, executive director of First Night Worcester. “Our schedule is final; we’ve got exciting new performances, a terrific new venue (Jillian’s Worcester) and, best of all, a brand new mobile app so folks on the go can get the most out of their First Night experience!”

First Night’s first-ever Apple mobile app is available for free in the App Store. “Users will have access to the entire event schedule with links to venues, performers, activities, sponsors and maps, right on their Apple device,” said McGinn. “It’s going to change everything!”

Nearly 60 performances will take place on 12 stages this year including a spectacular opening act – a performance by the Southeast Asian Coalition “Youth Effect” group at Tuckerman Hall, sponsored by Saint-Gobain. Artists will present an Asian fusion dance incorporating a dazzling traditional Chinese Lion Dance, a graceful traditional Thai dance, finishing up with a relaxed performance of a traditional Vietnamese dance.

First Night artists run the gamut from musicians to acrobats, jugglers to comedians, hypnotists, dancers, and for the second consecutive year, psychic mediums. “Our psychic medium venue was absolutely packed last year,” said McGinn. “We’re delighted to be able to offer this special experience once again at the Courtyard by Marriott.”

In addition to a robust line-up of First Night performances, there will be many activities around town to take advantage of, all free with a First Night button. “There will be pony rides and, new this year, guided tours by Canal District Horse & Wagon Tours, a local favorite,” said McGinn.  “Up on the Common we’ll have free ice skating sponsored by baystateparent and hot cocoa sponsored by Becker College. The Worcester Art Museum will be hosting a special craft project, sponsored by FLEXcon, and we’re bringing back the incredibly popular Kids Zone at Veteran’s Inc., sponsored by UniBank.” MassLive, new to First Night this year, will be sponsoring Ralph’s Rock Diner.  Jillian’s Worcester, First Night’s newest venue partner, will be hosting a free pasta bar for First Night attendees as well as giving out free $10 gift cards to use in its game room. Other activities include open houses at the Joy of Music Program (with family-friendly drumming circles, student performances and creative movement groups) and the Worcester JCC (with swimming, Gaga, a basketball clinic, bounce house and craft projects).

Returning this year will be the First Night trolleys – two of them – sponsored by Bay State Savings Bank and SG&D Insurance Agencies. “For obvious reasons, the trolleys were a big hit last year,” said McGinn. “We’re so grateful to to be able to offer this service again this year so folks can travel in comfort to all the performances they want!”

As in years past, a First Night button grants free access to the area’s leading cultural centers. Museum partners include the EcoTarium, Museum of Russian Icons, Old Sturbridge Village, Salisbury Mansion, Worcester Art Museum and the Worcester Historical Museum. “This is a terrific perk for First Night button holders. Last year it added up to literally hundreds of dollars in savings for a family of four. That’s a pretty great deal!”

Buttons are on sale now – $10 before December 25, $12 after December 25, $15 at the door. Kids 7 and under are free. The full event schedule and button details can be found at

First Night Worcester is made possible through the generosity of the following: 

Presenting Sponsors: PENTA Communications, Inc., Polar Beverages, Worcester Telegram & Gazette 

Platinum Sponsors: Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Worcester Magazine 

Gold Sponsors: FLEXcon, IMMEDIA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Price Chopper, Worcester Rotary, WRTA 

Silver Sponsors:  Atlas Pyrovision Productions, Inc., baystateparent, CVS, EcoTarium, Grafton News, Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Leominster Champion,, Millbury Sutton Chronicle, Museum of Russian Icons, Old Sturbridge Village, Saint-Gobain Corporation, Salisbury Mansion, The Landmark, UniBank, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Historical Museum 

Bronze Sponsors:  AAA Southern New England, AbbVie Bioresearch Center, Assumption College, Bay State Savings Bank, Becker College, MCPHS University, Rand Whitney Container, LLC, Reliant Medical Group, SG&D Insurance Agencies, Webster Five Cents Savings Bank 

Supporters:  Armenian Cultural Center, Commerce Bank, Courtyard by Marriott, Epworth United Methodist Church, Hilton Garden Inn, Jillian’s Billiard Club, MarketKING, Millbury Federal Credit Union, National Grid, Ralph’s Rock Diner, Southbridge Savings Bank, Spencer Bank, The Berry Group, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tuckerman Hall, Veteran’s Inc., Wegmans Food Market, Inc., Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Wesley United Methodist Church, Worcester JCC

December 1st 2015 by FNW
Categories: News |