Arts & Literature

First Things First

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Photo By Mark Roessler
Sam Ostroff installs the New Year's ball on top of Hotel Northampton

Assuming that we are all still here when you read this, you’ll need some plans for New Year’s Eve. First Night Northampton has it covered, with much of the city opening its doors for this special annual event.

The offerings for 2013 are diverse, ranging from kid-friendly sing-along theater to rock ’n’ roll for grown-ups. Highlights include The Boxcar Lilies and Rusty Belle at the Unitarian Church. The former have been wowing crowds around the Northeast with their deceptively smooth folk and blues while Amherst-made Rusty Belle, a coffee house staple for years, will perform its mix of bluegrass, carnival and punky ballads.

Other local heroes performing around town include folk-rock notables Fancy Trash at The Elevens, bluesman Wildcat O’Halloran at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the horn-heavy Trailer Park at the Dynamite Space in Thornes, among many more bands deserving of mention.

For the kids, there’s the impressive A2Z Yo Yo Team, who’ll show off tricks and stunts at the Academy of Music; The Nields for Kids, appearing at Churches Sanctuary; Tom Knight and his always popular puppets at Lyman Hall/First Churches; and the ever-catchy and multilingual Mister G, performing at Smith College’s Theater 14. There are also afternoon art activities at TD Bank.

If you’re feeling more transcendent on the last day of the year, check out Dave Russell’s Kirtan at the First Church of Christ or 22 Srutis at Memorial Hall. If you’d rather be wooed with physical feats and the art of motion, you can catch Catalyst, Eclipse Dance and other dance companies at the Academy of Music. For slightly different but no less spectacular forms of movement, there will be martial arts demonstrations by Valley Women’s Martial Arts at the Northampton Senior Center.

The whole shebang kicks off with the First Night Circus and Family Parade at the Center for the Arts.

For a full listing of events, check out the First Night Northampton website, where you can find a complete list of set times as well as purchase your buttons (they act as your tickets for all the events).

The Northampton Center for the Arts has begun its search for a new home, and every First Night Button goes to support this valuable community institution in its transitional phase.

Dec. 31, noon to midnight, various locations, Northampton, (413) 584-7327, www.firstnightnorthampton.com.

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