First Night Saratoga 2018
Light Up the Night
By: Alix Jones - Dec 14, 2017
On Sunday, December 31st, join over 15,000 revelers as Saratoga Arts hosts over seventy regional and touring performing groups in thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs. Starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, culminating with the fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, comedy and magic in between, this event will be a highlight of your outgoing year.
The theme for First Night Saratoga 2018 is Light Up The Night and there are plenty of events lined up that will let Saratoga Springs shine this New Years’ Eve. The Children’s Museum at Saratoga will kick off the evening by working with kids to create time capsules and a lantern to light the night ahead. At the Lake Avenue School families can enjoy the StarLab Planetarium, feats of bubble ingenuity by Jeff Boyer, the spectacular movement performance of the award-winning Broken Box Mime Theater, reptiles, raptors and more!
The mainstage at the City Center will feature our favorite mind art acts, including Boston-based Scott Jameson whose juggling and balancing skills are unmatched. Watch as he pulls umbrellas out of thin air and makes foam balls appear inside the closed hands of his unsuspecting and amazed helpers. Later in the evening, Jon Stetson, one of the most well-known mentalists in the United States, will read thoughts with unbelievable accuracy and the nationally recognized actor and magician, Joshua Lozoff, will rivet the crowd, in one moment making a drawing come alive just by pointing, in the next predicting an audience member’s choice even before she knows it herself.
Our WEXT stage features the Shane Guerrette Band and Sydney Worthley, who are both currently dominating the 518 playlist. At the end of the evening, Sawyer Fredericks, the 2015 winner of “The Voice,” returns from his national tour to perform for his local fans! In addition to the WEXT stage, Saratoga Arts is proud to showcase a number of up and coming artists this year. In the Visitors Center Brendan Eprile and Ashley Sofia will enthrall the audience with a slice of acoustic funk; in the Adirondack Trust Bank Angelina Valente and Katie Louise will offer up original songs backed by keyboard, and singer/songwriters Maddy Hicks and Belle-Skinner will serenade the First Night throngs from the storefront window of Lifestyles of Saratoga. All of these young artists have promising careers ahead of them, so make sure to stop by to say you heard them when!
If you are in need of some good humor this New Year’s Eve, make sure to check out the Empire State College Rotunda where Comedy Works will present Jay Lafarr and William Hughes who will give a taste of their cutting-edge humor while keeping it clean and appropriate for all ages!
For a more introspective performance, visit the Saratoga Storytellers at Empire State College or the Saratoga Film Academy in the Visitors Center. Looking for a more interactive experience? Join Will Shakespeare in Temple Sinai for adventures full of merriment, sword fights, mistaken identities, star-cross’d lovers, shipwrecks, musical numbers... and being chased by a bear all in under 40 minutes! Jump on stage as a performer or sit back and enjoy the fun.
This New Year's it is time to get moving! At the Military Museum the hottest local swing group, NitroJive, will let you showcase those dips and twirls and the popular country music DJ, Kevin Richards, will host a line-dancing party appropriate for all levels. Come to hear the music, watch the fun, or learn a few moves yourself- no partner necessary! Looking for something less structured? Check out the St. Peter’s Parish Center to move to the funk grooves of Collette & the Mudcats and the reggae of Robanic with the Caribbean Sound.
A full range of genres are represented, from country-bluegrass (Three Quarter North, Ramblin Jug Stompers) to retro coverband and tribute artists (Mike Mettalia & the Midnight Shift, Harold Ford) to jazz (Hetko, Seigel & Syracuse, Hot Club of Saratoga, Déjà vu Jazz) to Irish infused groups (Insolent Willies, Hellcat Maggie, Grafton Street Trio). There is something for everyone.
Remember, New Year's Eve happens no matter what and so does First Night Saratoga! All of the performers will be inside their respective locations and CDTA will provide free shuttle service to all of our venues as well as service from the Wilton Mall and Skidmore College.
In partnership with the John Winter Family Fund, Saratoga Arts ensures that kids aged 12 and under will be able to attend all First Night Saratoga events for free with the purchase of one adult button (one child per adult)!
Buttons cost $20 and are on sale now at capital region Price Choppers, Stewarts Shops, Adirondack Trust Banks, Saratoga Arts and online. Buttons are also on sale at a $15 early-bird discount only at Saratoga Arts and online through December 25th!
This is a popular event and, if you are coming from the Berkshires, could be a great way to spend a long weekend. Be sure to book your restaurants and your hotels early!