Many people are ringing in the New Year in Northampton at First Night.
Downtown Northampton is turning into a giant block party and is expected to be packed with more than 10,000 people Monday night, welcoming in 2019.
“We want to be with the people, with the community for 2019, to experience the ball drop and the music especially,” said Tami Stiles of Turner Falls.
First Night festivities include many musical performances by local artists, the traditional ball rise at Hotel Northampton at midnight, and of course the fireworks.
“I’ve been coming out to first night since I can’t remember,” said Debra Horton of Northampton. “I come every year. I started saving my buttons, and I said I’ve got a great idea, I’ll start putting them on my jacket and I’ll wear them all.”
It is considered the biggest party night of the year and many people are going to be celebrating. 22News spoke to people from Canada who are going to be celebrating in downtown Northampton.
“We’re here visiting family and we are very excited to be here to celebrate First Night,” said Ashley Brasfield of Ottawa, Canada. “We hope to see some of the fireworks this evening and just really enjoy some of the festivities happening throughout the day.”
Safety is always a top priority for events like this.
For others, Monday night was their first year experiencing all that First Night has to offer.
“This is my first time really buying a button to go to first night,” said Ben May of Easthampton. “This time I wanted to try some of the other things. A lot of great music acts from what I’ve been able to see, and also a lot of good comedy. Everything feels vibrant, I think it’s really good.”
And with the recreational pot shop, NETA, right down the street, Northampton Police want to make sure everyone stays safe.
The police department will have officers on patrol, looking for drivers who are under the influence, either drunk or high.
Parking is also available.
You can park for free at the Smith College parking lots, the Forbes Library, the Northampton Senior Center, and the World War II Club.