NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – First Night Northampton is bringing back the festivities to downtown after last year’s celebration was virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to First Night Northampton on Facebook, the Northampton Arts Council is celebrating its 37th annual New Year’s Eve celebration and festival of the performing arts on Friday, December 31st. The event a crucial fundraiser for the Arts Council where they draw in tens of thousands, much of it going to local art enrichment programs.
Steven Sanderson with the Northampton Arts Council said they’re glad they can bring it all back for the celebration’s 37th year.
“Northampton is back and First Night is going to be amazing,” he told 22News.
Some Covid precautions will be in place, starting when you go to pick up your pin. Steven said you’ll either need proof you got the vaccine or a recent negative test.
“You will pick them up at Thornes Marketplace the day of and at that point we will be checking for vaccination proof,” Sanderson continued.
Packard’s was famously open during the Blizzard of ’78 but was closed during much of the pandemic, including last year’s First Night and now that this year’s First Night is in person, they’re excited to be open.
“Everybody’s optimistic about First Night and the New Year,” Packard’s Owner Robert McGovern said. “It’s a new beginning and I just hope that people begin to relax a little bit more.”
Steven did add that when it comes to COVID precautions, they will continue conversations with the local health department and have updates as needed.
NRBQ Headquarters is headlining at the Academy of Music Theatre. Additional entertainment and more coming include:
- Katherine First & Kitchen Party
- Myles Jeh
- Lisa Bastoni
- Soul Magnets
- Mark Nomad
- Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry
- Peter Blanchette arch guitar and friends
- Fancy Trash
- The Fawns
- Yo-Yo Guy
- Tom Knight Puppets
- Henry the Juggler
- Ed Popielarczyk Comedy Magic
- Mad Science of Western New England
- The Nields
Buttons to attend performance venues throughout the day and night are available for purchase, $16 for adults, $8 for kids, and $10 for adults for the day events only. Fireworks are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. and the ball will be raised atop the Hotel Northampton at midnight.
In order to attend, proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event must be presented. Children under 12 may attend but are required to wear a mask and show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Face masks are also required inside except when eating or drinking.
The 2021 First Night Northampton celebration was filled with 12 hours of entertainment during a livestreamed event.