Cape Cod Ready to Ring in 2016

new years hatSANDWICH –  Cape Cod is getting ready to say so long to 2015 and hello to 2016 with New Year’s Eve celebrations across the area.

Sandwich, Chatham and Provincetown all host public celebrations with dozens of activities. Here’s what’s happening in each town:

SANDWICH:

Sandwich will be holding its 4th annual First Night celebration on New Year’s Eve.

The festivities will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. throughout the village.

The event will feature music, theater, crafts and arts in all forms and will conclude with a fireworks display.

“It’s all about the arts,” said Melinda Gallant, the chair of First Night Sandwich. “It’s all about giving regular, everyday families who only maybe sit and watch TV or take their kids to play hockey, soccer, basketball or tennis or whatever they are involved in and they never get to see a wonderful pianist. They never get to see a great snippet of a play. They never get to see an artist painting.”

The celebration will also feature an ice skating rink for the second straight year.

“We’re so excited about it,” she said. “We had it last year. This year it is sure to be bigger and better.”

Gallant said the celebration in Sandwich is different and is held earlier in the evening to be an event for the whole community.

“This is a family celebration,” she said. “And what is so exciting about this year is we have lots and lots of new performers.”

Buttons can be purchased to attend and are $10 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and younger.

Buttons can be purchased at the Dan’l Webster Inn, Beth’s Special Teas, Café Chew, Splash, Pilot House, Stop & Shop, Canterbury Liquor, Sandwich Public Library and Cape Cod 5 until December 31 at noon.

At 3 p.m. on December 31, buttons will again be available for sale at Town Hall.

CHATHAM:

First Night Chatham marks its 25th anniversary when festivities kick off Thursday.

The family-friendly, alcohol free festival started in 1990 and has now become the second largest in New England and is one of 40 communities that continue to maintain the tradition.

Over 60 music and performance events will take place at the festival, which include 12 new acts, four dance bands and 18 venues throughout the town.

“Every year we get anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the acts are new and it’s really something for everyone,” said First Night Chatham Co-Chair Dave Wilbur. “It’s everything from classical music to country to pop to rock. We have four different bands this year.”

The family fun center will feature new activities for kids and teens starting at 1 p.m., including Rock n’ Roll Racing and a Giant Candy Land game.

“We have 18 different venues at any one time so there’s a lot of choice,” said First Night Chatham Co-Chair Nancy Wilbur. “No matter what kind of music you like or what kind of entertainment you like, there’s something for everyone.”

Activities and performances culminate at 11 p.m.

Buttons for First Night Chatham’s Silver Jubilee celebration grant admission to over 60 performances and are $20 for adults 12 and up and $5 for children age 3 to 11.

For a full schedule of the day’s events, go to firstnightchatham.com.

PROVINCETOWN:

America’s First Destination is expanding its New Year’s Eve celebration through the whole holiday weekend with First Light Provincetown.

“There’s a lot of new things happening. It’s not just for New Year’s Eve,” said Provincetown Tourism Director Anthony Fuccillo. “We are going to make it a big, long New Year’s weekend celebration.”

Among the new events are a Polar Bear Plunge on January 1 at 2 p.m. at the Harbor Lounge and a fireworks display on January 2 at 5 p.m.

“It’s a fun time of year,” Fuccillo said. “It’s a romantic place to be and what’s better than New Year’s Eve to celebrate and bring in the New Year in Provincetown.”

Fuccillo said the plan is to further expand the holiday with even more events in the future.

“We just kind of wrapped a few things around in our advertising and the community pulled this together all on their own,” he said. “We helped to advertise it and market it and we think this is something we want to do every year going forward.”

Fuccillo said Cape residents may be looking for fresh new things to do for the holiday.

“New Year’s Eve is a fun night but what about all the days following it,” he said. “So we thought, why not have a few days following it and just keep the enthusiasm going.”

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