First Night Saratoga Fireworks Display Granted An Eleventh-Hour Reprieve

Last-minute funding came through for live fireworks, which will kick off the event at 5:45pm in Congress Park.

In year's past, the fireworks display at First Night Saratoga have taken place at midnight. (John Seymour)

When it was announced earlier this month that First Night Saratoga 2020 would be doing away with its grand-finale fireworks display in Congress Park in favor of a “Digital Midnight”—i.e. an e-fireworks display on a screen at the Saratoga City Center—there were more than a few mumbles and grumbles from the Saratoga Springs community.

As it were, the live fireworks display had been cancelled for good reason: a lack of sponsorship money, per the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

Well, the powers-that-be behind First Night have listened and put together a worthy compromise. As Saratoga Arts announced in a press conference on December 26, there will, in fact, be fireworks in Congress Park on Tuesday, December 31, but the display will kick off First Night Saratoga at 5:45pm in the park, as part of a family-friendly event, rather than close it out. This, after support came in from Mayor Meg Kelly, the Chamber of Commerce and a number of local business leaders.

In year’s past, the fireworks display took place at midnight in Congress Park; this year, it will still be replaced by the Digital Midnight display at the City Center, which also incorporates a 20-minute lead-up video, featuring a number of photos from First Night’s past submitted by the Saratoga and great Capital Region communities.

Additionally, to ensure that the proper funds are in place for future fireworks displays in Saratoga, the Chamber of Commerce has set up a Saratoga Springs Fireworks Fund to solicit donations from the community. At press time, the fund has already received $10,050 in additional funding, with a goal of $20,000.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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