In 24th Year, Chatham First Night Bigger Than Ever

PHOTOS COURTESY FIRST NIGHT CHATHAM Cirque du Jour is one of the highlights for children at First Night Chatham.

PHOTOS COURTESY FIRST NIGHT CHATHAM
Cirque du Jour is one of the highlights for children at First Night Chatham.

CHATHAM – First Night  Chatham, which begins Wednesday, December 31 at noon with the Town Photo, has more activities than ever this year.

Ten new entertainers and activities are being added to this year’s celebration. This year’s debut performers and activities include the special theme.

“Sandcastles by the Sea” is this year’s theme for First Night and a real five foot high, five ton sand castle has been constructed in front of the Community Center by Greg Grady a master sand sculptor.

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The Cape Conservatory CJazz All Stars will kick off First Night at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, December 30 at the Methodist Church. This group of musicians is giving a one-time performance featuring jazz standards, exclusively for First Night Chatham.

Chinese Folk Art Dancers are among the special performances at this year's First Night Chatham.

Chinese Folk Art Dancers are among the special performances at this year’s First Night Chatham.

The Chinese Folk Art Dancers will perform a variety of traditional Chinese folk dances such as the Dragon Dance, Lion Dance and the Chinese Yo-Yo and Folk Dance highlighting the beauty of Chinese Folk Arts.

The Compaq Big Band features 15 horns, a rhythm section and a great feature vocalist.  For those who love to swing dance the band is performing at Chatham Bars Inn Monomoy Hall from 8 to 11 p.m.

Downtown Crossing, a next generation a capella barbershop group. Known as DTX, they have been honored as the 2013 Northeastern District Quartet Champions.

Cape Cod Symphony Jazz Quintet will be performing at First Night Chatham.

Cape Cod Symphony Jazz Quintet will be performing at First Night Chatham.

Dylan & Keb, two local students perform their own compositions along with songs by the Beatles, Dave Matthews Band and other contemporary artists.

The Handbell Ringers Ensemble will ring out classic, patriotic and folk songs in front of the Chatham Cookie Company. This is a button-free event.

Sue Keller plays ragtime piano mixed with vintage jazz tunes.

North Country is a C & W dance band featuring Fred Giotto from Freddie and the Maybellines. They will provide free Line Dance instruction in the pre-show and during the break between performances.

Russ Wilcox Jazz Group is a locally-based trio with a repertoire ranging from jazz standards, to bebop. The group is one of the up and coming jazz ensembles in the region.

The group Collum Cille is among the performing musical groups at First Night Chatham.

The group Colum Cille Pipes and Drums is among the performing musical groups at First Night Chatham.

Complete information on First Night Chatham, including backgrounds on all performers, a full schedule of the day’s events and information on food and accommodations is available on www.firstnightchatham.com.

Buttons for First Night Chatham’s 24th annual New Year’s Eve celebration are on sale now. The buttons grant admission to over 60 performances and are $20 for adults 12 and up and $5 for children age 3 to 11 (under 3 free.) They are available at First Night Headquarters,   www.firstnightchatham.com  and several local retail locations.

Zoe Lewis is one of many performers at First Night Chatham this year.

Zoe Lewis is one of many performers at First Night Chatham this year.

First Night Chatham organizers interviewed some First Night Regulars to find out what they do to make their First Night Chatham successful.

Here are the top five tips:

  1. Check the schedule of events on First Night Chatham website, www.firstnightchatham.com.  Select one or two events for each time period and link to the artists’ sample, Facebook page or website for more information. Create your own schedule of events, with backup choices for those smaller venues that may fill up quickly.
  2. Park your car when you arrive and either walk or take the shuttle bus to go from one location to another.
  3. Plan to arrive at the performance site at least 15 minutes before the starting time in order to be sure you get a seat.
  4. During the evening, use your smart phone to access the new First Night mobile website. It has all the information you need about each performance: time, location etc.
  5. Dress in layers so that as the temperature drops, you remain comfortable both inside and out.