First Night Boston is an annual New Year's Eve celebration that takes place every year in and around the city of Boston, in which approximately 1 million people participate every year. Founded in 1976, First Night Boston has inspired many similar New Year's celebrations throughout the United States and continues going strong decades after its founding. The idea behind First Night Boston is to revive the idea of the New Year as something to be celebrated with friends and neighbors throughout one's community. In short, the organizers of First Night hope to get people out of their homes where they would usually celebrate the holiday so it can be enjoyed with the other people who share their city.
Logistically speaking, for a single fee, people all over the Boston area can purchase a button that allows them admission to any of the First Night venues, which usually open sometime in the afternoon on December 31 and don't close until the last fireworks display fills the sky after midnight. There is usually a First Night parade as well, and people from all over Boston volunteer at First Night events as well, given the spirit of community that is meant to underlie the event. Since part of the idea is to connect people regardless of age, there are various child- and family-friendly events every year. This means that children and parents can share in the joy of the New Year together instead of scrambling to try to find a babysitter for the night.
In Boston, First Night has included every type of artistic performance imaginable, and the city's prominence means that big-name entertainers put on shows at First Night every year. For example, previous performers have included musical legend Bettye Lavette and indie music superstars Britta and Dean. Additionally, First Night Boston organizers ensure that a diversity of artistic experiences are available, making sure that everyone who comes will find something they like. Specifically, First Night generally features comedy performances, film festivals, improv shows, poetry slams, and musical theater performances.
As the chronologically first of the First Night celebrations in the U.S., First Night Boston remains among the country's biggest and best. Along with all of Boston's other tourist attractions, and the discounts you can sometimes find by taking a trip to snowy Boston in the winter season, First Night Boston can be a great reason to plan a trip to "Beantown."