No need to drive down to Times Square this New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop—Saratoga Springs is offering something just as exciting and a little less congested. Hosted by Saratoga Arts, First Night Saratoga 2020, the Spa City’s traditional New Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday, December 31, is embracing the spirit of the new year with some great entertainment. Get your party horn and 2020 glasses ready!
First Night Saratoga’s celebration is the biggest one between New York City and Montréal (and one of the country’s oldest), and it should come as no surprise that its 2020 schedule has a little bit for everybody, from a First Night 5K Run starting at Skidmore College, which will actually kick off the celebration at 5:30pm; to loads of entertainers across town, including a wide range of bands, dancers, comedians, martial artists and Shakespearean actors. In all, up to 60 different acts comprising about 600 total entertainers will perform in just one night in Downtown Saratoga! The headliners for the event include two old-school Saratoga rockers, The Figgs and Wild Adriatic, plus the Albany-based rock and soul duo SIRSY.
New to First Night this year is the Digital Midnight portion of the celebration. Instead of live fireworks in Congress Park, First Night participants will watch an exclusive New Year’s video projected onto display screens at the Saratoga Springs City Center. This 20-minute video will include a montage of photos and footage of Saratogians’ previous First Night celebrations and will crescendo with a countdown to the new year and an impressive digital fireworks display. Ticket-holders will also receive a special URL of the countdown video, so that they can view it from their smartphones or devices. (Update: Though fireworks will still not close out the night, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce did announce on Thursday that there would be a pre-New Year’s fireworks display beginning at 5:45pm in Congress Park.)
First Night tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here.
Note: Everything below has already happened!
Of course, New Year’s Eve is still more than a week away. For more to do before then check out saratoga living‘s calendar of can’t-miss events in the Capital Region and beyond. (Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, December 22 and ends on Monday, December 30.)
Have some holiday fun with the family at the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s Holiday Kids Day (December 23)
Get your best ugly sweater ready for the 11th Annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl at Saratoga City Tavern (December 23)
Tuesday (Christmas Eve)
Now in its 25th year, the Saratoga Hilton is proud to present its annual “Breakfast with Santa” event (December 24)
Wednesday (Christmas Day)
For those looking to go out on Christmas Day, the Embassy Suites at the Diamond Club Grill in Saratoga will host a Christmas Day Social (December 25)
Saratoga Pan Celtic will give a Christmas Day concert in the music room at the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs (December 25)
Don’t miss the versatile string band the Racquette River Rounders playing their annual Boxing Day Reunion Show at Caffè Lena (December 26)
Catch a basketball game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks (December 26)
Enjoy the Terry Gordon Quartet, led by trumpeter and composer Terry Gordon, at 9 Maple Avenue in Saratoga (December 27)
Saratoga’s own soul superstar Garland Nelson will perform at Bailey’s Saratoga (December 27)
Comedy After Dark at the Park Theater in Glens Falls presents Late Show and Comedy Central regular Erik Bergstrom (December 27)
Schenectady’s Mopco Improv Theatre will present a Winter Break Family Improv Show for all ages (December 27)
Don’t miss Start Making Sense: A Tribute to Talking Heads at Cohoes Musical Hall (December 27)
Get ready to laugh with a Holiday Comedy Banger at The Egg in Albany (December 27)
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Amy Helm, the daughter of The Band drummer/vocalist Levon Helm, will perform a pair of shows at Caffè Lena in Saratoga (December 28 and 29)
The Dark Star Orchestra is coming to the Palace Theatre in Albany to recreate a stellar 1977 Grateful Dead concert (December 28)
Classic rockers Blue Öyster Cult will perform at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady (December 28)
Helsinki Hudson presents new American songsters Carsie Blanton and The Suitcase Junket at Club Helsinki in Hudson (December 28)
Saratoga’s favorite jam band Phish will celebrate New Year’s with four performances at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan (December 28-31)
Enjoy painting a winter scene during the Snowy Barn Paint and Sip event at Saratoga Paint & Sip Studio (December 29)
Guitarist and composer David Temple presents A Day in December: Music for the Classical Guitar at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck (December 29)