Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council



Ring in the New Year and the 100th anniversary of Saratoga Spring’s incorporation as a city with the First Night Saratoga fireworks display. At midnight, after a few words from Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Joanne Yepsen, and Matt Veitch, the Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, Northstar Fireworks will present a dazzling display in Congress Park.  Congress Park cannot be entered during the fireworks, but Saratoga Arts provides a perfect viewing area by arranging for the streets to be closed at the intersection of Spring and Putnam Streets, near the carousel.

The First Night Saratoga fireworks display is presented by Saratoga Arts with support from Saratoga County, the City of Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau and Gaffney’s Restaurant.


Saratoga Arts Presents...

FIRST NIGHT 2016 - the twentieth anniversary!

Over 200 amazing artists from all genres of music, performance artists, comediens, magicians, and more have submitted their applications to be a part of Saratoga First Night 2016.  Over the next few weeks we will be reviewing the candidates and putting together the best program possible. This year's First Night takes place on Thursday, December 31, 2015 starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm and culminating with the fireworks in Congress Park at midnight.  Every hour is packed with fun for the whole family.  Keep checking back to see who will help light up the town this New Year's Eve! 

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 this year's First Night events - we would love to see them and share them!  Email your photos and videos to Tanya at

Did you attend First Night Saratoga 2015?  Are there any artists you would like to see perform next year?  Tell us what you think!

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk 

First Night 2015

Wednesday, December 31: 6pm to midnight

First Night Saratoga is the largest New Year's Eve event in New York outside of NYC. As one of the oldest and largest First Night celebrations in the country, the event is the most affordable, accessible, family-friendly, safe and exciting way to spend New Year's Eve in the region!  This year, Saratoga Arts brings over seventy regional and touring performing groups to over thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs for this evening of live music, dance, comedy and other performances.  Annually, over 10,000 people ring in the new year with Saratoga Arts and First Night Saratoga!
This year, we've got some returning fan favorites like Harold Ford's acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute, Jim Gaudet's award-winning bluegrass, jazz legend Lee Shaw and headliners the Tartan Terrors.
An all-new teen and young adult showcase for young bands, their fans and families -- including 13-year-old burgeoning pop star Talia Denis, along with the young college students in Hawkeye Band and the alt-rockers Good Fiction -- with a full light show for the showcase.

Our WEXT stage features some of the most talked about 518 bands, including songstress Olivia Quillio and indie rock bands Beaked Whale, Great Mutations, Bear Grass and the Orange (who are playing one of their first shows since reuniting their popular late-90s band) 

We've also stacked the schedule with some of the best-loved local bands and we are bringing new regional and national bands to the mix, including Brooklyn's retro combo Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, New York City soul-funk outfit the Nat Osborn Band and New York City's witty cowboy-country rocker Jack Grace.
Acclaimed local artists appearing for the first time include rockabilly master Graham Tichy, the nationally touring Sirsy, and beloved roots-rock act the Lustre Kings.
A full range of genres are represented, from country-rock (18 Strings of Trouble, Dry Town Drifters, Red Haired Strangers) to 60s retro (Betsy and the ByeGons, Big Fez and the Surfmatics) to dixieland jazz (Brass and Blues) to real-deal folk (Phil Henry, Don White) to eclectic world music (HEARD).

We are bringing back Indie Fest, featuring up-and-coming local bands Rebel Darling (roots and blues), Party Boat (surf pop) and Gusto (pop-punk)


We've got all ages represented, from young local fiddler Seina Shirakura (known for wowing crowds on Broadway with her violin playing all summer) to 88 year-old master jazz pianist Lee Shaw.


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.

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.

Look at what the region's media had to say about First Night Saratoga 2014!

The Albany Times Union noted that even on a cold night Saratoga Springs swells with First Night Revelers
CBS6 in Albany was there.
FOX23 was too.
The Saratogian's photographer captured preparations for First Night Saratoga, and The Schenectady Gazette captured the spirit of things.

Click here for First Night Saratoga 5K race resultscoverage of the race, and photos. 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, 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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