NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Since 1985, the entire downtown of Northampton transforms into multiple venues for different art performances for its First Night New Year’s Eve celebration.

Since 1985, the entire downtown of Northampton transforms into multiple venues for different art performances for its First Night celebration. This year, there are 22 venues from Smith College to the area Hotel Northampton. From noon all the way through until the ball raises people can enjoy the performances organized by the Northampton Arts Council, which include arts, jugglers, acrobats, magicians improv groups, comedy, lots of dance and lots of music.

“We’re going to see some shows, going to see maldavisa.. yeah,” said resident Justin Richards.

The event that the most people were looking forward to Saturday night, the fireworks display over the Thornes Marketplace garage.

“We are only here just for the fireworks,” Jason Chretien of Westfield told 22News. “We’re gonna go home and [she’s] gonna go to bed, while I watch that ball drop that’s behind us…. excited for the fireworks… I’m a kid at heart.”

And following two years where COVID affected First Night Northampton, people are just excited to be out and celebrating New Year’s. Last year, First Night was overhauled as a live-stream broadcast and two years ago the event was scaled back significantly.

Those who are celebrating in Northampton on New Year’s Eve, the fun won’t stop at midnight as DJ Bongohead and DJ Studebaker Hawk will be spinning tunes and having the night owls dancing to bring in 2023.

Have a happy and healthy New Year’s!