Purchase a button for admission to all events

You're invited to attend Northampton's most beloved signature event. On Tuesday, December 31st, the Center for the Arts and PeoplesBank welcome you to a city-wide New Year's Eve party. For the 29th time, we host a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts that culminates in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. We anticipate gathering with friends, neighbors and visitors at 22 downtown venues for an astounding array of entertainment presented by hundreds of talented performers. Our efforts are supported by generous local sponsors and dedicated volunteers. All proceeds benefit community arts.

Get started at noon with our fabulous opening show at the Academy of Music where "VALVE: A New World Circus" promises to delight and amaze. After the performance, follow the OffBeat Drumming Ensemble and Hoopiverse as we hit the streets of downtown, serenaded by the Expandable Brass Band, for the First Night Family Parade. By 2 pm, the party is in full swing. Our performance program is filled with hours of afternoon excitement for young children plus day-and-evening entertainment for audiences of all ages. Catch a single appearance by the Young @Heart chorus at John M. Greene Hall. Check out the roster of emerging artists at one of our newest venues, The Parlor Room. Thrill to the sounds of the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra at Sweeney Concert Hall or enjoy the First Night debut of the Valley Light Opera at Hallie Flanagan Theatre. Veteran performers and new-comers create an eclectic program of music and dance that is sure to satisfy every taste.

The Northampton Business Improvement District brings us fireworks for the whole family to see at 6:15 pm. There are plenty of good spots for viewing the display that lights up the sky from the roof of the city's parking garage. After that, the festivities continue with musical magic and merriment—including an incredible line-up of foot-stomping bands at the Dynamite Space and the World War II Club—not to mention the Northamptones, Heather Maloney, and Winterpills at the Academy where Monte and Joan of 93.9 The River emcee the stage. Later, it's time to gather at the Hotel Northampton for the iconic raising of the ball. Trumpy from Hits 94.3 hosts a mini-block party with all of 2013's biggest hits and leads the "count-up" to 2014.

A single bargain-priced button opens the doors to every event at every venue. Buy one early at a local vendor or online, and check out the companion performance schedule as well as the logistical tips that follow to plan the perfect party under a magical moon.

Penny Burke, Executive Director
Northampton Center for the Arts

Official Schedule

Download a PDF file [1.8 Mb] that illustrates the performance schedule by venue and time which also includes a map of Northampton and the First Night venues.

Get the App!

Download our free First Night Northampton App at the iTunes store! Click here.


Parking: On First Night, there is free parking beginning at 10 am in all of Northampton's municipal lots EXCEPT the parking garage. Smith College parking lots and the Smith College garage on West Street are free and open to the general public all day. There are also lots at Forbes Library, the Northampton Senior Center, and the World War II Club.

Please remember that access to and from the E.J. Gare Parking Garage will be restricted from approximately 5:45pm to 6:45pm because of the fireworks display. The same is true for the adjacent municipal lots.

Button Sales on Tuesday, December 31st: Of course, the easiest and most economical plan is to buy your First Night button in advance. Online sales continue until midnight on Monday, December 30th. Locations for purchasing buttons on December 31st are limited. Your best bet is the First Night box office located on the second floor of Thornes Marketplace, open from 10 am until 9 pm with payment by cash or check only (ATM available). You can also purchase buttons downtown at Faces, State Street Fruit Store, and the Hotel Northampton. They are for sale at the door of these performance venues: Academy of Music; Theatre 14 at Smith College; World War II Club. They are also sold at Cooper's Corner in Florence and A.J. Hastings in Amherst.

At the venues: In order to accommodate our audiences and to make things easier for the volunteers, please cooperate by lining up at entrances in an orderly fashion and exiting the venues after each performance. This also keeps things running on time. Note: Many shows are offered twice, so if you don't make it into the first one, you'll probably catch the second.