Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

SPAC’s 50th Anniversary First Night Fireworks

The sky lights up with a dazzling firework finale to 2015 at midnight in Congress Park. Saratoga Arts invites you to join Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen as we ring out the city’s Centennial Celebration and ring in 2016 with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) 50th Anniversary First Night Fireworks! A perfect viewing area is provided with street closures at the intersection of Spring and Putnam Streets, near the carousel. The First Night Saratoga fireworks display is presented by Saratoga Arts in partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), and with support from Northstar Fireworks.






Fun, Food & More at First Night!

Alpacas of Breezy Hill Ranch Alpacas are very gentle creatures and they hope you’ll stop by to wish them a happy New Year! Owners Lisa and David Proulx will have alpaca products to buy such as hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks. NBT Bank Parking Lot, all night.








Balloon Gal Jenny has a decade of experience teaching both art and cooking to kids. Her favorite part of being a balloon artist is the smile she brings to children’s faces. This vendor charges $5 per balloon animal.  Lake Avenue School, all night.






Jojo’s Fabulous Faces Add a bit of color and sparkle to First Night with beautiful, unique designs!  Locally owned and operated.  Fun for children and adults! This vendor charges $5-$10 per face design and accepts reservations. Lake Avenue School, all night.







Forever Flowers sells beautifully preserved roses for you to give your loved one when the clock strikes twelve!  City Center, all night.






Airstream CateringNo matter how you like to roll, Airstream Catering Co. rolls with you! NBT Bank Parking Lot, all night.

Reggie’s Veggies from Greenwich New York, sells donuts and macaroni & cheese to keep you going throughout the night.  Adirondack Trust Drive through, all night.

Ziti Dinner youth programming dinner provides a baked Ziti meal with a salad, beverage and dessert for $8 adult, $4 youth and $.50 kids. Presbyterian-New England Church, 4pm - 8pm.


Saratoga Arts Presents...

FIRST NIGHT 2016 - the twentieth anniversary!

Thursday, December 31: 6pm to midnight

First Night Saratoga celebrates its 20th anniversary this year!  As one of the oldest and largest First Night celebrations in the country it is the most affordable, accessible, family-friendly, safe and exciting way to spend New Year's Eve in the region.  On Thursday, December 31st join over 15,000 revelers as Saratoga Art’s hosts over seventy regional and touring performing groups in thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs.  Starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, culminating with the SPAC sponsored fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, comedy and magic in between, this event will be a highlight of your outgoing year.   

Headlining the evening is the iconic NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) who will share the mainstage with returning favorites Harold Ford with his acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute and Jim Gaudet's award-winning bluegrass ensemble.  Right next door, the internationally touring rock duo Sirsy, who played standing room only crowds last year, will take the stage to bring in the new year. Our WEXT stage features up and coming local female folk-rock artist, MaryLeigh Roohan, paired with the roots-rock ensemble Yankee Holler and soul-inspired funk of JV & the Cutters- the best of the 518 this year in all different flavors.  

Saratoga Arts is proud to provide a showcase opportunity for young performers as well, including the fourteen year old pop savant Talia Denis illuminated by a stunning laser show and the sixteen year old award-winning Elvis impersonator Matt Boyce and his band the Suspicious Minds.  A full range of genres are represented, from country-rock (18 Strings of Trouble, Red Haired Strangers) to Ska/Reggae and 60s retro (The Robanics, Big Fez and the Surfmatics) to dixieland jazz (Nisky Dixie Cats, Hot Club of Saratoga) to real-deal folk (Phil Henry, Michael Jerling) to the hip classically infused strains of CelloVoce.  There is something for everyone. 


If you are in need of some good humor this New Year’s Eve, try visiting our local improv troupe Mop & Bucket Companyalways good for a laugh and a staple of our New Year’s Eve programming. Or check out Chris Ruggerio’s one man variety show- an act that you can’t help but smile for with a thrilling feel-good mixture of  stand-up comedy and daredevil juggling.  


We have a venue entirely dedicated to the Mind Arts with tarot card and rune readers as well as a certified psychic, Corbie Mitleid, who willprovide "gallery-style" past life readings.  Comic hypnotist, Michael Ray will bring the most suggestible of us up on stage for some ridiculous New Year’s hijinks and the nationally recognized actor and magician, Josh Lozoff, will rivet the audience with his mind-bending act, “Life is Magic”, in one moment making a drawing come alive just by pointing; in the next predicting an audience member’s choice even before she knows them herself.  


The Arthur Murray Dance Studio will open its’ doors all evening providing a different type of group instruction every hour from Salsa to Swing, no partner necessary.  If you have kids and want the same active fun, but a little less structure the Turtle Clan Dancers will be leading ceremonial winter dances from the Ojibwe and Abenaki tribes and the Homespun Dancers will brighten the night with live folk music and guided square and line dances from the American tradition.   

New Year's Eve happens no matter what and so does First Night Saratoga!  All of our performers will be inside their respective locations and community partner, CDTA, is providing free shuttle and bus trips to all of our venues as well as a special shuttle service to and from Wilton Mall!

There is something for everyone at First Night Saratoga! Adults and children enjoy a variety of arts activities and performances, and for those who want to celebrate early, there is the First Night Saratoga 5K Run!

First Night Saratoga 2015, is a GE Kids in Free Days event, offering free admission for children with the purchase of one button admission.

First Night Saratoga 2015 was a blast!

Thank you to all of our venues, artists, volunteers, sponsors, and of course all of the revelers who braved the cold to experience the biggest New Year's Eve celebration between NYC and Montreal!

Here are some great photo galleries put together by our friends at the Post Star & The Gazette

A fun video put together by our generous sponsor, WNYT

We will add more photos and videos as we pull them together!  If you have any photos or videos of First Night events - we would love to see them and share them!  Email your photos and videos to Tanya at

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Thank you to the 5K sponsors and volunteers who make the race so successful. 


Proceeds support the community arts programs at Saratoga Arts to help make the arts affordable and accessable to all.





Make plans for a New Year's Eve getaway!

at one of Saratoga's amazing restaurants

...and ENJOY
FIRST NIGHT SARATOGA 2016 - an evening filled with live music, dance, comedy, magic and midnight fireworks!

First Night will keep you warm! 

All of our venues are inside, heated, and with free (and warm!) bus service thanks to CDTA, you don't have to worry about getting cold on your way to all the best First Night performances. 


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