It’s the last night of the year, but for some reason, by tradition, when a city groups anumber of family-friendly New Year’s Eve events together and offers admission to them for a single ticket price, it calls it First Night.
The phenomenon began in Boston in the ’70sand peaked about 10 or 15 years ago. This year, there are only a handful ofFirst Nights taking place in New Jersey, but they’re still worth noting.
• First Night Morristown: Probably the state’s most ambitious First Night, with more than 80 events scheduled at 24 venues, plus free shuttle bus service between them. Attractions include jazz pianist Rio Clemente; Indian classical and folk dance by the Shubanjali Dance Company;comedian Jon Fisch; an inflatable dinosaur show; “Phenomenal Physics” by circus performer Mr. Fish; the Galumpha dance troupe; theremin player Michael Durek; folksinger Mike Agranoff; the British Invasion Tribute band; the Early Music Players; the Harmonium Choral Society; illusionist Anthony Salazar; square dancing; fireworks at 9:15 p.m. and midnight; and much more. Visit FirstNightMorris.com.
•First Night Haddonfield: The bandThe Screaming Orpans — featuring four sisters from Donegal, Ireland — will perform at the Middle School Auditorium as part of this event. Other attractions will include the gospel choir Sounds of Joy atHaddonfield Methodist Church, the Give and Take Little Circus, comedian Brad Trackman, Elvis impersonator Mark Reno,Irish and Scottish ballad singer Charlie Zahm, fireworks and more.VisitFirstNightHaddonfield.org.
•First Night Maplewood/South Orange: New Jersey’s leading cover band, The Nerds, headlines this event, which also features circus performer Lisa Lou, magician Simon Mandal, hip-hop dance troupe Illstyle and Peace, children’s musician Mr. Ray, fireworks and more.
•First Night Ocean City: Music by The Trammps, The Fabulous Grease Band and the Ocean City Pops,plus“The Cat in the Hat,” comedian Andy Pitz, magician Chad Juros,ice skating, pony rides, and more. Visit FirstNightOCNJ.com.
•First Night Seaside Heights:Children’s activities and entertainment along the Boardwalk, plus fireworks.