The tradition of kicking off the new year with a bang – not to mention a little music, magic and more – remains alive and well in the Electric City.
For the 14th consecutive year, First Night Scranton will draw visitors to the city’s downtown, where a slew of venues will host activities and live performances on New Year’s Eve.
This year’s family-friendly event will bring attention to Scranton’s diversity through the theme “New Year’s Eve Around the World.”
“What we kind of focused on was how the ethnicity of the city is evolving and changing,” First Night project director Paige Balitski said. “And we thought, you know, we should revisit what ethnicities were in the beginning of Scranton and what it’s changing into and adding to all of that.”
First NightScranton, the alcohol-free, family-friendly event will take place for the 13th year Saturday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. on Courthouse Square, offering an alternative to the traditional alcohol-soaked ideal of the holiday.
“There aren’t many options for families and younger people to do things on New Year’s Eve,” said Doug Smith, entertainment chair of this year’s event. “You can either go to a bar and there’s alcohol and all that stuff, or you just stay home and then you’re not going out to do anything. So it’s a great thing for families to do and for teenagers to be able to do on their own.”
First Night is a trademarked event held all over the country, promoting arts, culture and family activities. First Night Scranton was established in 1998 by Scranton Tomorrow and was turned over to the city in 2008. Now, it’s a nonprofit run by volunteers that relies on fundraising and corporate sponsors.