On 31 December, our County seat will host its twelfth annual First Night Burlington County (FNBC). Once again, hundreds of families & friends, kids & adults, residents & visitors will be coming into our historic downtown for a fun, safe, affordable New Year’s Eve celebration.
Every year, FNBC features a variety of performing and visual arts, ice carving, fireworks, processions, and more.
Folks buy an Entry Button for $10 (5 for $25), and wander among the venues, housed in and among Mount Holly’s beautiful public buildings.
The “First Night” concept was created by a group of civic-minded artists in Boston in 1976 as a meaningful alternative to traditional New Year’s Eve revelry. The idea was to bring the community together through a shared celebration, reviving the ancient traditions of marking the passage of time in a present day context. These founding artists felt that New Year’s Eve is a time for renewal and new beginnings. It is an opportunity for a community to look ahead collectively with hope and optimism and appreciate our common bonds. The name “First Night” symbolizes this look forward rather than the technically correct words, “Last Night.”
The idea spread out across the USA from Boston, and by 1999 three towns in Burlington County held similar community New Year’s Eve events. Only Mount Holly has been able to maintain the tradition. While the other towns are more affluent, they do not have the core of public & private support (nor the passionate volunteers) that is making downtown revitalization a success here in our County seat.
Performers and Activities:
The Gypsy Nomads (Masonic Lodge Hall, 15 Garden Street)
Rhythm Kitchen (Friends Meeting House, 81 High Street)
Hoop There She Is (Friends Meeting House, 81 High Street and St.Andrew Sanctuary, 212 High Street)
Lost in Brunswick (Masonic Lodge Hall, 15 Garden Street)
Lackawanna Rail (Friends Meeting House, 81 High Street)
Piney Hollow Drifters (St.Andrew Sanctuary, 212 High Street)
David Falcone (Isabella’s Old World Bakery, 31 Mill Street)
Blue Suede Jews (St.Andrew Sanctuary, 212 High Street)
Brian Miller – Comedy and Magic (Burlington County College Center, 1 High Street)
Origami Bunnies (High Street Art & Frame, 54 High Street)
Stuff-A-Bunny (All-in-One Baskets, 31 High Street)
Puppet Workshop (High Street Art & Frame, 54 High Street)
Make a New Year’s Eve noisemaking Tambourine (All-in-One Baskets, 31 High Street)
World’s Largest New Year’s Eve Bunny Hop
DJ and Dancing in the Streets (Fountain Square) with Dance Lessons by Arabesque Dance Studio
Alice in Wonderland Tea Party at the BCC Center Art Gallery (1 High Street) Come meet Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and, of course, the White Rabbit!
Year of the Bunny Ice Sculpture (Prison Museum, 128 High Street)
Prison Museum Tours (Prison Museum, 128 High Street)
Knitting Circle to make an afghan to send to Afghanistan. Needles and wool will be provided. (Friends Meeting House, 81 High Street)