Since 2001, First Night Spokane has helped the community ring in the new year with a bang.
This year’s theme, “Midnight in Wonderland,” promises the same eclectic mix of musicians, magicians, crafts, theater and dance as years past, only this year, the event’s layout has been condensed to make it easier to navigate.
Here’s a look at what’s happening at First Night Spokane 2016:
Spokane Convention Center
The Convention Center is pulling double duty this year, hosting Kids Night Out from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and First Night activities later in the evening.
For the kiddos, there’s face painting and Mad Hatter hat making, plus performances from Ballet Arts Academy, Spokane Children’s Theater and the Spokane Elite All-Star Dancers. Magicians Matt Van Zee and Dick Frost will perform, as will Musha Marimba, a group of students from The Enrichment Cooperative at Bryant Center, and Silver Spurs International Folk Dancers. Families can also take in the “It’s Elementary” Art Gallery.
Later in the evening, the Convention Center will house performances by the Blue Door Theatre and the finals of the Singing in the New Year competition. Van Zee makes another appearance, and country singers Christy Lee and Luke Yates will perform solo at 9 and 10 p.m. respectively before performing together at 11 p.m. There will also be Kid Zone craft making and three-minute sketches by caricature artist Donzell Milam.
Singer/songwriter Lyle Morse will perform three shows, while work from Nan Dry (eco printing), Cherylee Duncan (mixed media painting) and Juaquetta Holcomb (home-spun yarn) will be on display at Pottery Place Plus.
River Park Square
See your favorite stores in a new light while checking out “Flaunt It!,” a display of dresses designed by local artists made using repurposed materials from River Park Square retailers. Or try to spot a familiar face at the “Faces of First Night” exhibit.
Shimmy in the new year with dance lessons from Glenn and Patty Braunstein, then put those moves to the test in two dance contests to the tunes of Tuxedo Junction Big Band.
INB Performing Arts Center
Magician/mentalist Joshua Lozoff, acoustic rock singer Wyatt Wood and caricature artist Tom Quinn make for a small but mighty trifecta of performers.
The Davenport Grand Hotel
In a First Night Spokane first, there will be a 21 and older venue. Blues quartet Bakin’ Phat and rockabilly/blues act Sammy Eubanks entertain the adult crowd.
If you can brave the chilly temperatures – the high on Saturday will be a whopping 25 degrees – there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep everyone occupied. There will be free ice skating (Ice Palace), carousel rides (Looff Carrousel) and a dance party (Riverfront Park Park Stage), all from 7-11 p.m. There will also be ice carving by James Royal in Riverfront Park from 7-11:40 p.m. and the closing ceremonies, complete with a countdown to 2017 and fireworks, from 11:45 p.m.-midnight at the INB breezeway. Warm up between events with hot chocolate and bonfires from 7-11:40 p.m. along Spokane Falls Boulevard between Stevens and Wall streets.
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