First Night Aims to Be the Best Night
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First Night Maplewood/South Orange may be hitting its 18th year, but it’s still a child at heart.
The family-friendly Near Year’s celebration which runs from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on December 31, is bursting with the stuff of children’s dreams. Organizer Connie Cosgrove promised us “storytelling, crafts, magician, puppet theater, a crazy chemistry show, a ventriloquist, hip hop, a subway musician, and the best balloon sculptor ever! Oh, and fireworks at 6:30 p.m.”
Now, this year the venue has moved to the South Orange Middle School, 700 Ridgewood Road, South Orange. But you’ve got to move outside to Floods Hill for the fireworks (something about fire codes….).
The “ticket” for this event is a wristband that works for one-time use. Wristbands will be available at the door for $15, or at select locations in Maplewood and South Orange (Kings Super Market; Kari’s Cafe; Maplewood Library, Main and Hilton Branches; South Orange Library; Rocketship and Print; Cold Stone Creamery; and The Baird) for $10. You can purchase online using credit cards or PayPal before 3 p.m. Friday for $11 each. Children under three get in free.
But remember not to let the kids play with the wristbands ahead of time. Says Cosgrove, “These wristbands are for one-time use. You have to cut them off, so please don’t let your little ones put theirs on before the night of the event!”
Volunteers are stilll needed (hey, volunteers get in free!) to help host entertainers, help out with craftmaking, origami, food service and decorations. Call Mary Hayes at 973-76-FIRST (973-763-4778) to volunteer. Afternoon and evening times available.
Visit the website to view or download the event schedule or print the pdf schedule attached here. Performers and activities include:
|Two short plays from Parallel Lives — Emily Tully, Gillian Holmes, directed by Brandon Monokian. From the Montclair University Drama Department. 7:00-7:30 & 8:30-9:00 in the Library.|
|Lisa Lou’s Circus Workshop — 50 children per session, please – with parents. 4:30-5:00 & 6:00-6:30 in Gym A.|
|The Great Scott Magic Show — 4:45-5:30 & 8:00-8:45 in the Auditorium.|
|Catskill Puppet Theater — the story of Hiawatha. Includes a behind-the-scenes peek at how the puppets work. 5:00-5:45 & 7:00-7:45 in the Band Room.|
|Rochel Garner Coleman, storyteller: I, Nat Love, aka Deadwood Dick. Interactive! Ask him questions! 5:45-6:15, 7:45-8:15 & 9:15-9:45 in the Library.|
|Crazy Chemistry with Lisa Lou — 5:15-5:45 & 7:15-7:45 in Gym A.|
|Doug the Amazing balloon sculptor — 5:30-9:30 in the first floor main hallway.|
|Illstyle & Peace Dance Company — Dance from the 60’s to Hip-Hop. 7:00-7:30 & 9:00-9:30 in the Auditorium.|
|New Day Dawn & The Stuff Brothers Band — 7:00-10:00 in the Cafeteria.|
|James Graseck & Luellen Abdoo, the subway violinist & friend — 7:15-7:45 & 8:45-9:15 in the Music Room.|
|Blue Life Karate — 5:45-6:15 & 7:45-8:15 in Gym B.|
|Beads ‘n’ Lisa — 5:30-8:30 in room 238.|
|Comedy Ventriloquist Pete Michaels — 8:15-8:45 & 9:45-10:15 in the Little Theater.|
|Face-painting — 5:00-9:00 in the hallway outside the Library (second floor).|
|Glitter Tattoos by Parteaz LLC — 5:00-9:00 in Room 236, 2nd floor.|
|Origami with Mary Kao — Watch her on YouTube! 7:00-9:30 in classroom 118.|
|Sue Kie‘s trick-roping Wild West Show (yee-haw!) — 7:00-7:30, 8:30-9:00 & 9:30-10:00 in Gym B.|
|David Glukh Enterprises: Brass Ensemble — 7:00-7:30, 8:30-9:00 & 10:00-10:30 in the Little Theater.|
|Classical harpist Merynda Adams — 8:00-8:30 & 9:30-10:00 in the Music Room.|
|Simple Gifts folk & international music sung and played on unique instruments — 8:30-9:00, 9:15-9:45, 10:00-10:30 in the Band Room.|
|Scooby-Doo & Elmo — All evening long, wherever you can find them.|