First Night Worcester, Inc. closes its doors after 35 years

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

WORCESTER, MA – [May 19, 2017] – After a highly successful run bringing affordable, family-friendly arts to the community, First Night Worcester, Inc. announced today it will discontinue operations. The independent not-for-profit arts organization, which has been a mainstay on the city’s cultural calendar for decades, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with its signature New Year’s Eve arts festival that brought thousands out to celebrate.

“After careful review, we have decided the 35th would be our last event,” said Howard McGinn, executive director of First Night Worcester. “We are grateful to the many supporters who have enabled us to meet our mission over these many years. Most of all, we thank the tens of thousands who have attended our annual event,” said McGinn.

Kallin Johnson, board president, described the mixed feelings of management when he said: “The Board is confident it has reached the correct business decision, but we’ll miss setting the stage for thousands of smiling faces on New Year’s Eve.”

Charlie Washburn, board vice president and one of the founders of the organization, expressed gratitude for the support First Night Worcester has received over its long history. “Some of our financial supporters have been with us since the early years, and many others have been very loyal. The fact that First Night Worcester is the second-longest running event of its kind in the country speaks to the generosity of many in the community.”

The City of Worcester, in partnership with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Discover Central Massachusetts, has expressed an interest in continuing the New Year’s Eve tradition in another form. Tim Murray, president of the Chamber, said: “A lot of good things are happening throughout Worcester and in the downtown. A community celebration to mark the beginning of the New Year should be one of them. The Chamber and Discover Central Massachusetts look forward to working with the City to develop a new event in downtown Worcester. Along with City Manager Ed Augustus, I want to thank the First Night board, management and volunteers for their great work over the years.”

May 17th 2017 by FNW
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