Sing and Dance into 2013!

Sing and Dance into 2013!

Celebrate the arts at First Night Scranton


If you’d like to sing and dance your way into 2013, look no further than First Night Scranton in the city’s downtown.
Now in its 14th year, First Night Scranton will welcome a host of artists to perform in venues in and around the Mall at Steamtown. This year’s theme is First Night Around the World, Celebrating Our Heritage. “Our theme is based on the new ethnicity and diversity of our city,” said Paige Balitski, project director. Guests can expect to enjoy an international journey filled with music, dance, poetry and more – all close to home and family-friendly.
“We have at least 17 countries represented, including the United States, and there are some unique acts,” said Doug Smith, co-chairman. Highlights of the diverse lineup include a Latin band from Allentown, Hector Rosado and his Orchestra Hache, and the Odessa Klezmer Band, performing the music of Israel, Russia, Spain and Germany, to name a few. Scranton will also welcome Tribal Waves, featuring world music with didgeridoos, Shakuhachi and Bansuri flutes, jaw harp, trumpet and percussion. The evening will also feature local favorite, George Wesley.
For those who may not be familiar with First Night’s history, the event was born in Boston in 1976 by a group of artists seeking a cultural alternative to the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration. First Nights are community celebrations offering a blend of visual and performing arts in an alcohol-free setting that welcomes people of all ages to ring in the new year together.
In tough economic times, many cities have seen their First Nights come and go. Scranton’s celebration is still going strong after more than a decade of New Year’s Eve fun. For its first 10 years, First Night Scranton was a project of Scranton Tomorrow. For the past two years, First Night Scranton has been operating independently, as its own 501 C3 organization.
Organizers say this is the result of support and collaboration between artists, business leaders, including this year’s honorary chairman, Al Boscov, city and county officials and a host of dedicated volunteers and partners, including Peter Rothfuss and his team from Entercom Communications, which is sponsoring the fireworks at midnight.
“First Night is the perfect example of an event done by the community for the community,” said co-chairman Damian the Magician. “Supporting your community is a very vital part of reviving a community.”
“And the arts always lead the way,” Balitski added.
As 2012 comes to a close, First Night Scranton guests will enjoy a full schedule of music, dance, magic, poetry, storytelling, improv, horse-drawn carriage rides, food vendors and more. In keeping with tradition, the night caps off with a magnificent fireworks display on Penn Avenue.

—  julie imel
First Night Scranton festivities will kick off at 3 p.m. with activities at the Mall at Steamtown, and activities will continue until midnight. Buttons (your ticket to admission) are $10, general admission; and free for children under age 5. Buttons for senior citizens (age 65 and older) will be available at the event for a special rate of $5.
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Schedule of Events

Continental Italian Serenades
Mall at Steamtown,
Center Court: 6:30-7:15, 8:30-9:15, 10:30-11:15

Damian the Magician
Mall at Steamtown,
Center Court: 7:30-8:15, 9:30-10:15

John O’Connell Caricatures
Mall at Steamtown,
Food Court: 7-11

Brookvalley Farms Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
Mall at Steamtown,
Main Entrance: 6-11

Dance with Hoops
Mall at Steamtown,
Crossover Bridge: 7-7:30, 9-9:30

Linda’s Facepainting
The Bon-Ton, Mall at Steamtown, 2nd Floor: 6:30-11

Jo Jo the Clown
Boscov’s, Mall at Steamtown, 2nd Floor: 6:30-10:30

George Wesley
Elm Park Church, 712 Linden Street: 7-7:45, 9-9:45, 1-11:45

Hector Rosado and his Orchestra Hache (Salsa, Merengue, Latin Jazz)
Elm Park Church, 712 Linden St.: 8-8:45, 10-10:45

Franko the Clown
Elm Park Church, 712 Linden St.: 6-6:30, 7-7:30 and at Ritz Theater, 222 Wyoming Ave., 8:30-9

Joe Stanky and the Cadets
Leahy Hall, The University of Scranton, 800 Linden St.: 7:30-8:15, 9:30-10:15

Odessa Klezmer Band (music of Israel, Russia, Spain, Germany & more)
Leahy Hall, The University of Scranton, 800 Linden St.: 6:30-7:15, 8:30-9:15, 10:30-11:15

Northeastern PA Guitar Trio atNorthern Light Espresso Bar,
536 Spruce St.: 8:30-9, 9:30-10, 10:30-11

Trinidad-Tobago Steel Band
Ritz Theater, 222 Wyoming Ave.: 6:30-7:15, 8:30-9:15,10:30-11:15

Tribal Waves
Ritz Theater, 222 Wyoming Ave.
7:30-8:15, 9:30-10:15

Lucia Dailey & Friends (poetry)
AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
7:45-8:15, 9:15-9:45, 10:45-11:15

Fiona Powell
(Welsh storytelling)
AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
7-7:30, 8:30-9,

Lotus Fire
(mid-eastern dancers)
518 Mulberry Street
7-7:30, 8:30-9,

Wild West Entertainment
Federal Building
235 N. Washington Ave.: 8:30-9, 10-10:30

Rob Smith (Juggler)
Mall at Steamtown
6:30-7:15 and at
Firehouse, 518 Mulberry St.: 7:45-8:15, 9:15-9:45
Cosmo and Connie
(facepainting and balloons)
Hilton Scranton & Conference Center,
100 Adams Ave.: 6-10:30 p.m.

Here We Are In Spain
(improv group)
Federal Building
235 N. Washington Ave.: 7:45-8:15, 9:15-9:45 and at  Showmobile, 200 block, N. Washington Ave.: 11:30

Mike Simon (Vaudeville juggler/magician)
Elm Park Church, 712 Linden St.: 6:30-7:30 and at Mall at Steamtown, 8-9 and at Firehouse, 518 Mulberry St.: 10:45-11:15

Michael Jinx
Café Trio & Chocolate Creations, 400 Spruce St.: 6:30-7, 8-8:30, 9:30-10

Family Bingo
Mall at Steamtown, Food Court: 3-6 p.m.

Penn Avenue at Midnight

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