Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Night in Saratoga, Saranac Lake

FirstNIghtSaratoga_newBefore being introduced to First Night Boston years ago, New Year’s Eve celebrations were always a bit of a letdown for me. New Year’s Eve seemed to be a search for something better with enough alcohol to make waiting for the ball to drop remotely palatable. After experiencing First Night Boston, I knew if I were to leave the comfort of my home it would be to welcome in the next year surrounded by art, music and quality events. We have since gone to First Night events in Burlington and Binghamton and most consistently, Saranac Lake.

Last year was the first time my family attended a First Night celebration in Saratoga Springs. Traveling through Saratoga Springs and making the stop was one of the best New Year’s Eve decisions to date. All First Night celebrations offer families an opportunity to bring in the New Year with creative events and hands-on activities.

We made sure to take advantage of the GE Kids in Free voucher that came with our buttons, allowing children (12 and under) free admission. We had no issues parking though there were free CDTA buses running all night. The weather was pleasant and we chose to walk to all the activities on our list. With over 35 venues and  70 different performances there was no way that we could have visited them all. There was enough variety that every family member got to choose an activity.

This year’s theme is Color Me First Night Saratoga. The opening ceremony starts at 5:30 pm at a variety of locations and the festivities continue throughout the evening. The fireworks at Congress Park will bring in the New Year at midnight. A DJ will do the countdown and provide music onsite while people are waiting for the fireworks.  If you’re nearby, it certainly will be a New Year’s celebration to remember.

This year we’ll be back celebrating within the Blue Line and participating in as many of the Saranac Lake First Night festivities as possible. Though not as large as Saratoga, it is an event worth going back for.  However you choose to welcome in 2014, please be safe. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

First Night Saratoga photo used with the permission of Diane Chase,

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Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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