For Immediate Release
December 28, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Boston officials today held the city’s annual First Night public safety conference, encouraging people to come to Boston to ring in the New Year during the 37th Annual First Night celebration. Officials from the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and the MBTA reminded revelers to celebrate the holiday safely and encouraged people to take advantage of public transportation when traveling through the city.
“I hope everyone will join us for this year’s First Night celebration and take advantage of all our city has to offer,” Mayor Menino said. “First Night is one of our city’s greatest traditions, and an opportunity to gather with friends and neighbors to celebrate our diverse cultures and ring in the new year.”
Mayor Menino and city officials have worked with the MBTA and the First Night organization to ensure that First Night 2012 is a safe and fun experience for all. In addition to an increased presence of public safety personnel and services, including police and EMS, the MBTA will be free after 8 p.m.
Ellis Paul, the award-winning singer/songwriter headlining this year’s FedEx Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, kicked off the festivities Friday with two songs from his second children’s album The Hero in You, a tribute to a wide array of American heroes, crafting vivid musical profiles of men and women whose words, actions, inventions and art made a profound difference to countless lives. Also on hand were some of the signature giant puppets scheduled to appear in the Panorama First Night Grand Procession.
City officials reminded residents and visitors of the following safety precautions:
- Families should designate one meeting place and phone number to use in case someone is lost – EMS will have a lost child station at the Hynes Convention Center as well as a medical aid station. There will also be a medical aid station at the Boston Common.
- Expect traffic delays in certain parts of the city.
- No public drinking will be tolerated.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Dress warm and in layers, as temperatures will drop throughout the evening.
- Drink plenty of warm, non-alcoholic liquids.
- Utilize the MBTA, which will be free after 8 p.m. and will run with additional service until approximately 2 a.m.
All First Night outdoor events are free, though supported by sales of the First Night button, which is the ticket for admission to all indoor events. The buttons are $18 (children under four receive free admission) and have been available at Boston-area Shaw's and Star Markets, Tedeschi Food Shops, Au Bon Pains and dozens of other locations throughout the City. Buttons can also be purchased online at www.firstnight.org.
The annual Metro Boston Grand Procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Hynes Convention Center and will travel down Boylston Street and end at the corner of Charles and Beacon streets.
Mayor Menino and the Mugar Foundation will ring in 2013 with an annual family 12-minute fireworks display at 7 p.m. on Boston Common. The show is being produced by Boston 4 Productions, the organization that oversees the annual July 4th celebration on the Esplanade. A second fireworks show will take place over Boston Harbor at midnight in a spectacular display produced by Zambelli Fireworks. The Skating Club of Boston will again produce an ice skating show on the Boston Common Frog Pond.
The Boston Transportation Department is advising drivers that parking and traffic restrictions will be implemented in Downtown Boston on Monday, December 31 due to the City’s annual First Night activities. The use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Those who feel the need to drive in should plan to park in off-street lots and garages. Additional details regarding parking restrictions can be found at: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/Default.aspx?id=5909.
First Night was started in 1976 by a group of local artists who sought an alternative to traditional New Year's Eve celebrations and has grown from a small arts event into an arts organization that showcases work by local, national and international artists. Originally drawing crowds of about 25,000 people, in recent years First Night has attracted crowds of more than 1 million people, generating nearly $47 million in revenue for businesses in the City of Boston. The First Night concept now serves as a model for approximately 200 celebrations worldwide.