Northampton gears up for virtual first night celebration

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As Americans prepare to ring in a New Year full of promise and hope now that the coronavirus vaccine has arrived, the virus is preventing people from gathering at traditional celebrations.

However, First Night Northampton, which started in 1985, continues to live on as a virtual, family-friendly arts festival presented by the Northampton Arts Council with its partners PeoplesBank.

While this was a major fundraiser in the past with 100 percent of the proceeds going to local arts, this year’s event is free and will be shown online and on TV featuring the favorite artists of the past alongside new artists, as well as the fireworks and the dawn of the ball.

First night revelers can celebrate in the comfort of their own homes by tapping online at the links provided at firstnightnorthampton.org or Northampton Comcast Cable channels 12, 15 and 23.

A full list of performances includes:

  • SHOW Circus Studio: Circus of Light, 12:02 a.m.-12:38 p.m.
  • Henry the juggler, 12:39 p.m. – 12:56 p.m.
  • School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCOT), videos broadcast throughout the day
  • John Porcino Storyteller-Musician, 1 p.m.-1:25 p.m.
  • Puppets Tom Knight, 1:26 p.m. to 1:53 p.m.
  • Yo-Yo Guy, 1:54 p.m. – 2:17 p.m.
  • Monsieur G, 2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
  • Zoé Lemos, 2:51 pm-3:19 pm
  • Roger Salloom, 3:20 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
  • Ragtime Piano with Dick Molding, 3:46 p.m. – 4:16 p.m.
  • Ray Mason, 4:17 p.m. – 4:44 p.m.
  • Les Pangées, 4:45 p.m. – 5:19 p.m.
  • Diana Alvarez, 5:20 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.
  • StompBoxTrio, 5:41 p.m. – 6:01 p.m.
  • Kalliope Jones, 6: 02-6: 32
  • Duo Max ZT and Priya Darshini, 6:41 p.m. – 7:08 p.m.
  • Myles Jeh, 7:09 p.m. – 7:39 p.m.
  • Peter Blanchette, archguitar and friends, 7:39 p.m. – 8:01 p.m.
  • Kimaya Diggs, 8:02 PM-8:23 PM
  • Lisa Bastoni and Sean Staples, 8:24 p.m. – 8:53 p.m.
  • The Lonely Brothers, 8:54 p.m. – 9:24 p.m.
  • Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry Duo, 9:26 p.m. – 9:56 p.m.
  • The fawns, 9:58 p.m. – 10:25 p.m.
  • Izzy Heltaï, 10:27 pm-11pm
  • Les O-Tones, 11:02 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Klezamir, 11:32 pm-11:55pm

Although the event is free, the lack of button sales this year will discourage fundraising efforts to benefit local arts enrichment activities.

For those who wish to continue supporting the arts, donations can be made to the Northampton Arts Council online at firstnightnorthampton.org.

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