It’s First Night Again

Newtown, Pa., holds its annual family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.

By: Megan Sullivan
   Hop on the trolley and get to the party. And don’t forget your
crazy, festive hat. First Night Newtown is back — a family-friendly, alcohol-free,
arts-based New Year’s Eve celebration taking place in Newtown (Pa.) Borough Dec.
31. (Note: Bristol, Pa., also is holding its annual First Night, but Doylestown,
Pa., is skipping its celebration this year.)
   Now in its eighth year, the celebration will kick off with a
grand procession down Main Street at 5 p.m. It begins at the headquarters tent
on Washington Avenue, but just look for the new, 9-foot-tall addition to the First
Night family: Rocky the Resolution Rooster. Ring in the New Year right and get
that resolution down on colored paper, then decorate Rocky’s stomach with your
goal. And don’t forget to practice that Mummers strut. The Mummers String Band
will lead the procession, so get in step with the beat.
   The procession embodies the four pillars of First Night: community,
celebration, the New Year and the arts. Giveaways and prizes for the best hats,
handmade instruments and drums, masks, puppets, banners and handmade noisemakers
will be incorporated into the festivities.
   A wide range of entertainment, including music and crafts, will
be offered at the various First Night locations. The Russian American Kids Circus
will headline the evening with two performances at Council Rock High School auditorium.
With members ranging from age 6 to 18, the circus can do anything, from unicycling
to acrobatics to juggling. They’ve performed more than 1,200 shows nationally
and internationally, including performances on Good Morning America and
MTV. In addition to bands like Kindred Spirit and Soul Farm performing during
the celebration, Dr. DJ will be at the headquarters tent to host a karaoke sing-along
party. Salsa lessons, crafts and horse drawn wagon rides also will be included
in the night’s entertainment.
   To stay fueled throughout the evening, sample complimentary
coffee, hot chocolate and light snacks provided by the Newtown Rotary Club. Genesis
Personal Fitness will sell healthy cookies with the help of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Other food items for sale include wraps and soups from Amazon Café, Chick-fil-A
chicken nuggets and sandwiches, hot sandwiches from the Temperance House, takeout
from the Brick Hotel and treats from Zebra Striped Whale, Glazier Jewish Center
and Starbucks.
   Three trolleys will run from 4 to 10 p.m. to each of the venues
to enjoy the entertainment — and take you to the fireworks finale!
First Night Newtown 2006 will be held Dec. 31, with events at various Newtown
locations. A 5 p.m. procession starts and ends in the Fire Department parking
lot next to the Brick Hotel on Washington Avenue between State and Liberty streets.
Admission: a button or wristband (age 3-12) can be purchased for $12, $8 ages
4-12 and free under age 4. Buttons/wristbands are available until 4 p.m. Dec.
31 at the First National Bank of Newtown (Newtown-Yardley Road and South State
Street locations), Commerce Bank (Upper Silver Lake Road and West Road locations),
Newtown Book & Record Exchange, Newtown Hardware House, Stockburger Chevrolet,
Newtown Athletic Club and Stockburger Chrysler/Plymouth. Buttons will also be
available from 2 p.m. Dec. 31 at First Night Headquarters and during the celebration
at Newtown Athletic Club, Newtown Middle School, Council Rock High School North
and the Glazier Jewish Center. First Night Newtown on the Web: