By now, after more than a decade, Spokane has First Night down pat. Fans of the annual downtown New Year’s Eve bash know what to expect: dozens of fun things to do at dozens of different locations, all for one low price (mostly).
For instance …
At the Spokane Convention Center on Monday, Kids Night Out will feature music by Jenks, magic by Dick Frost and movement with Adventure Dynamics. The popular Celtic band Floating Crowbar will entertain at in the Convention Center’s Ballrooms A&B, joined by the Haran Irish Dancers. The Crescent Court will play host to visual arts exhibits at Avenue West, Outrageous Wild Women Crown Making on the second floor and an interactive art project by Conrad Bagley on the main floor.
Meanwhile, down at Riverfront Park, you can take a spin on the famous Looff Carrousel, or at the Ice Palace (skate rental not included), or on the dance floor at the Rotary Fountain.
Actually, dance is a big part of First Night. Besides the DJ spinning tracks at the fountain, the Martian Madness Masquerade Ball will take over the Convention Center Ballroom meeting rooms. The Visual Vortex Spin Collective will enliven the Wheatland Bank drive thru. Across downtown at the Bing Crosby Theater, Ballet Arts Academy of Spokane will host its annual Ballet and Bubbly show. Over at the Masonic Center, the Northwest Bellydance Company will hold court, along with singer Abbey Crawford and illusionist Kenny K.
There is live music all over the place. In addition to the featured performer Floating Crowbar, Colby Acuff and Justin Sherfey will set up shop at the Sandwich Gardens in River Park Square, electronic musician Craig Padilla will entertain at Kids Night Out and later at the Convention Center, and Son Dolce will bring some salsa to the Bank of America lobby.
Over at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, the Spokane Symphony and Symphony Chorale will once again tackle one of the most famous pieces of classical music, the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig Van Beethoven. This event is held in conjunction with First Night but is not included with the First Night admission. Tickets will cost $16 for children and $22 or $27 for adults.
Lona Barnum, First Night executive director, said this year’s theme, “Across the Universe: Year of the U.F.O.,” has less to do with any dire predictions for 2013, and more with giving the festival a dose of spacey fun.
“Since the world didn’t come to an end, we have to do something,” she said with a laugh. “There will be spacey looks, lights and sounds.” Attendees also might be on the lookout for “Agent A,” who will be out – Men In Black style – looking for aliens, she added.