Celebrate 2013 In Downtown Westport During First Night

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Ring in the new year with the family during First Night, a community-wide New Year's Eve celebration throughout downtown Westport.
Ring in the new year with the family during First Night, a community-wide New Year's Eve celebration throughout downtown Westport. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – A laser light show, a performance by the New York Express Roller Dance Company, a black light puppet show, live music, hot food, face painting, and horse and buggy rides are just some highlights of First Night 2013, Westport’s annual community-wide New Year’s Eve celebration.

Now in its 19th year, First Night Westport/Weston offers children and adults from Westport and the surrounding communities the opportunity to enjoy hours of entertainment in a drug- and alcohol-free environment throughout downtown Westport. Since the night’s events end by 11 p.m., participants have plenty of time to get home and watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight.

In past years, First Night festivities included a fireworks show. This year, First Night participants will be entertained by a laser light show on the Ruth Steinkraus Bridge over the Saugatuck River, First Night Board of Directors President Barbara Pearson-Rac said.

“With the construction of the Levitt Pavilion, we were told that fireworks were not possible. So we researched our options for something just as extraordinary,”  Pearson-Rac said. “I hope the laser show over the river and projected onto National Hall, all set to music, will be a good replacement.”

The approximately 30-minute laser light show will begin at 10:30 p.m.

Another new addition to this year’s celebration is the "Love on Wheels" show, a 45-minute roller skating performance featuring the New York Express Roller Dance Company. The show takes roller skating to a whole new level by combining dance, acrobatics, juggling, mime and figure skating. "Love on Wheels" will be performed twice in the Town Hall auditorium.

Kids between ages 3 and 10 won’t want to miss Ultra Violet Puppets, a black light puppet show where the puppets glow-in-the-dark. Audience members are encouraged to wear white so they will glow in the dark as well. Two half-hour shows will be performed in the board room at Westport Weston Family Y.

Also for the first time, For the Heart — an all-teen performance ensemble — will present an hour-long concert at Toquet Hall Teen Center. The ensemble is made up of high school students from Westport and Fairfield.

Festivities also will include annual favorites like horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting, a magic show, caricatures, ballroom dancing and more. Plus, First night-goers can enjoy food from Oscar’s Delicatessen and Moja, the newest restaurant to open downtown at 12 Wilton Road.

First Night festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and will end with the laser light show at 10:30 p.m. Admission buttons cost $15 and can be purchased online or in person at various locations, including the Westport Library, the Westport Weston Family Y, Oscar’s Deli, Trader Joe’s and Weston Hardware in Weston.

To see a complete list of First Night festivities and a schedule, or for more information, visit the First Night website.

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