WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport will be ringing in 2017 with everything from carriage rides, stargazing and swing dancing to bouncy castles, Broadway ballads and balloon animals.
“First Night” buttons must be purchased to take part in the town-wide celebrations on Saturday, Dec. 31.
Buttons are $15 and can be purchased at Saugatuck Sweets (Westport and Fairfield), the Westport Library, Trader Joe's, Weston Hardware, the Historical Society and Westport Town Hall, or online at etix.com. Children under two are admitted free of charge.
The schedule is as follows:
- Holiday carriage rides by Allegra Farms: 3:30-7:30 p.m. and 7:45-9 p.m. Gather in front of LOFT, a women’s clothing store located at 17 Main St.
- Children’s entertainment: Saugatuck Elementary School, 170 Riverside Ave. 4-9 p.m., inflatable park (gym); 4:45-8:45 p.m., Bibi the Balloon Artist (cafeteria); 5:15-8:15 p.m., caricaturist Bill Hernandez (cafeteria); 5-8 p.m. face painting (cafeteria); 5-6:45 p.m., puppeteer and singer Tom Weber (cafeteria); 6:45-8 p.m., Al deCant, aka The Singing Principal (cafeteria); 5:15-6 p.m. and 6:15-7 p.m., Jonathan Geffner, ventriloquist (auditorium); and 7:15-8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Magic Genie, (auditorium).
- Stargazing with the Westport Astronomical Society: 4-10 p.m., The Branson Hall, Christ & Holy Trinity Espiscopal Church, 75 Church Lane.
- Family Zumba: Sara Moran, 6-8 p.m., The Branson Hall, 75 Church Lane.
- Washboard Slim & The Bluelights: Jug band. 8:30-10 p.m., The Branson Hall, 75 Church Lane.
- Broadway baritone Beau Allen : 7:30-8:15 p.m., The Seabury Center, 45 Church Lane.
- Jazzman Chris Coogan : 8:30-10 p.m., The Seabury Center, 45 Church Lane.
- Dennis The Train Man: 4-6 p.m., McManus Room, Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road. The library can be reached by calling (203) 291-4800.
- Bigalow Tea House of the New Year Moon: 6-9:45 p.m., Town Hall, Rooms 201/201A, 110 Myrtle Ave. Psychics, tarot card readers and palm readers.
- Westport Community Theater: One-act plays. 7-7:30 p.m. and 8:45-9:15 p.m., lower auditorium, Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave..
- Silver Steel Band: 7-7:45 p.m. and 8:45-9:30 p.m., lower auditorium, Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.
- School of Rock: 7-8 p.m. and 8:30-10, Toquet Hall Teen Center, 58 Post Road East.
- Blues pianist Mark Naftalin: 6-8 p.m., Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Weston resident will be joined by Norwalk percussionist Barry Urich.
- Community bonfire: 6-10 p.m. Jesup Green, downtown.
- Fireworks: 8:15, over the Saugatuck River. Can be viewed from Riverwalk, the bridge, or Jesup Green.
To get backstage access to any of the performances, residents can become volunteers. To volunteer, contact Andrée Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online at www.firstnightww.com.
"First Night" is a non-profit 501c corporation.
For more information about sponsorship opportunities, entertainers and schedules, contact Barbara Pearson-Rac, chairman of the organization's board of directors, by emailing her at email@example.com.