CHATHAM – Summer may be over, but Chatham is gearing up for one of its biggest events of the year, First Night 2014-2015. It is this 24th year of the event.
This year’s theme is “Sandcastles by the Sea.” A giant sand castle will be constructed in front of the Community Center.
The event will celebrate the New Year with musical and dance performances, circus acts and fireworks.
Many of the First Night events require a button but some of the events are free.
The annual town photo kicks off the day and night long festivities. The photo, in which everyone is welcome–whether year-round resident, summer resident or visitor– takes place at noon at Chatham Light.
Organizers advise that people wear a crazy hat or bring a dog–anything to stand out from the crowd of several thousand people in the photo, which is taken from the top of a crane.
The Carnival Caper costume road race start at 2:00 in front of the Chatham Squire. Dress up and take pictures of the most outlandish costumes. Costume judging is at 2:30 and the race starts at 3 p.m. Participants receive T-shirts and a bowl of beef stew in return for the $10 entry fee.
First Night Chatham is a family friendly event. Among the big attractions for children is Cirque du Jour, which will give four performances.
Also performing will be Rick Goldin and his singing animal puppets, the Toe Jam Puppet Band, Marcus the Magician, and Yo-Yo people, which yo-yo, unicycle and hula hoop show. All children’s events take place in the afternoon and early evening.
Another favorite with children is the Noise Parade at 6 p.m. Participants are invited to bring noisiest noise makers. The parade starts at 6 pm at the corner of Main and Cross Streets in front of Town Hall.
There is also the Compaq Big Band at Chatham Bars Inn’s Monomoy Hall from 8:00 pm to 11:00 p.m.
There are over 60 First Night performances. Here is a small sample of the music, dance and performing artists appearing at this year’s Fist Night celebration.
The Cape Conservatory CJazz All Stars will kick off First Night 2015 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.
The Chinese Folk Art Dancers are new to Chatham First Night. Members of this Boston-based group range in age from 12 to 18. They perform a variety of traditional Chinese folk dances such as the Dragon Dance, Lion Dance and the Chinese Yo-Yo and Folk Dance highlighting Chinese Folk Arts.
The Magic of David Hall includes slight-of-hand and mindreading.
Back by popular demand, the Monomoy Theater Players will be presenting “Words and Music”, an hour of scenes and songs from your favorite performances presented by Monomoy Theatre guest artists.
North Shore Acappella has appeared on NBC’s The Sing Off. The music is a blend of harmony, rhythm and tempos with songs from the 1940s up to the present.
First Night Chatham will again feature two fireworks displays. The early show is scheduled for 6:30, followed by the traditional midnight show at the Oyster Pond that includes the “Dropping of the Cod” to ring in the New Year
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 at www.firstnightchatham.com
Buttons for First Night Chatham’s 24th annual New Year’s Eve celebration are on sale now. The charge is $20 for adults 12 and up and $5 for children age 3 to 11 (under 3 free.) They are available online at the First Night Chatham website and at these locations: The Chatham Clothing Bar, 534 Main Street; Cape Cod 5, 548 Main Street; Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore, 432 Main Street; Millie’s General Store, 1291 Main Street; Larry’s PX, 1591 Main Street, West Chatham; South Chatham Liquors, 2447 Main Street, South Chatham; Chatham Light Liquors, 314 Orleans Rd, North Chatham; Snow’s Home and Garden, 22 Main Street, Orleans.