SCHROON LAKE - The town of Schroon will welcome 2009 in style.
Music, refreshments and fireworks are planned as part of the Schroon First Night celebration Wednesday, Dec. 31 - New Year's Eve.
"This will be a non-alcoholic, family event, and everyone is invited," said Cathy Moses, Schroon supervisor.
Barry and Blair Gregson will entertain with acoustic guitars at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; Suzanne Fremon and Deb Frey and students will play piano at the Schroon Lake Community Church; and Ed Raquet will play folk guitar at the Schroon town hall.
All entertainment will be 6-7:30 p.m.
At 7:30 there will be cookies, hot chocolate and hot cider served at the town hall,where children will be given New Year's hats, beads and noise makers.
The New Year's Eve celebration will conclude with a fireworks display at 8 p.m. at the town beach.
This will be a revival of sorts for Schroon. The town hosted a First Night celebration in 2003 to kick off its bicentennial celebration in 2004. The event proved so popular, it returned the next year.
First Night began in Boston in 1976 by a small group of artists. Its popularity quickly made it a recurring event. Soon other surrounding communities started their own First Night celebrations. In 1993, First Night International became a non-profit organization dedicated to helping other cities set up their own celebrations. It has since spread to cities all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand.
First Night is an artistic and cultural celebration on New Year's Eve. Since it happens on New Year's Eve, First Night celebrations are actually held on the last night of the old year. The real first night occurs on New Year's Day.
First Night celebrates a community's local culture, often featuring music, dance, comedy, art, food and fireworks.