COLUMBIA – "It's all about the guitar" is the entertainment theme for this year's First Night Columbia New Year's Eve Celebration.
First Night will open at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31, with entertainment planned from 7 p.m. to midnight. Featured artists include the acoustic Americana trio of Brad Davis, Dan Miller and Tim May+, according to the First Night Columbia website.
In addition to musical entertainment, First Night features:
- A "Create and Celebrate" area for children.
- The annual First Night 5K Run/Walk, which begins at 4 p.m.
- An 11:30 p.m. procession to Courthouse Square, with a countdown and fireworks at midnight to ring in the New Year.
Buttons, which provide entrance to the event, can be purchased at all Gerbes locations, Streetside Records, the Activity and Recreation Center, the Columbia Parks and Recreation office, and various churches and downtown businesses. Tickets are $8 if purchased before 4 p.m. Dec. 31. Admission will be $10 at the door, and children younger than 7 enter for free.
People who purchase buttons early can enter their names in a drawing to win a Bristol acoustic guitar from the Guitar Finder, music lessons from the Columbia Academy of Music, a subscription to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, a dinner for two at Bleu Restaurant and Wine Bar or a Cajon box-drum from Barnhouse's Crazy Music Store. The drawing will be held 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at Courthouse Square.
Buttons also are good for a reduced entrance cost to a three-hour acoustic instrument workshop with Davis, Miller and May on Jan. 1.
First Night Columbia is sponsored by the city of Columbia, the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau's Tourism Development Program, KPLA/101.5 FM and KFRU/1400 AM, KOMU/NBC, the Missouri Arts Council and Columbia Parks and Recreation, according to a news release from the Parks and Recreation department.
First Night is an international event that was started in Boston in 1976 as an alternative to traditional New Year's celebrations. There are more than 150 First Night celebrations in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and England, according to the First Night Columbia website.
Supervising editor is Alison Matas.