While Canfield cancels, First Night Youngstown steps up a notch

First Night Canfield is no more, but Youngstown plans on making its event bigger and better than ever

Downtown fireworks. Dec. 31, 2015
Fireworks explode over downtown Youngstown during First Night Youngstown. Dec. 31, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If you don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve, Youngstown is the only community holding a First Night event this year.

Canfield First Night decided to discontinue its celebrations after 17 years. Salem did the same two years ago.

But Youngstown plans on making its First Night bigger and better than ever, hoping to attract more people to the party.

“We’ve got the Magic & Comedy of Eric Thompson, as always, at Oh Wow! Children’s Center and 20 West Federal. We also have a host of bands that will be performing,” said First Night Youngstown Board member Lea Nesbitt.

Most of the music will be played at the Soap Gallery.

A few downtown churches will also have exhibits.

“We have St. Columba, we have Trinity United Methodist Church bringing the Harry Potter Experience as a first time for that attraction this year,” Nesbitt said.

When it gets dark, fireworks will light up over the Market Street bridge.

The board is also trying to set up a ball drop in Central Square at midnight.

Nesbitt hopes to make it an even bigger event by joining forces with the City of Youngstown.

“We do have a vision. We hope to see a more cohesive idea of togetherness with downtown Youngstown,” she said.

First Night Youngstown’s events are currently alcohol-free but in the future, Nesbitt said they may work with downtown bars and restaurants.

In order to get into the event for all of the fun, you’ll need to buy a $10 First Night button. Nesbitt said the button sales help them put the event on each year.

First Night is a charitable organization and makes money from fundraising, donations and button sales as a cover charge.

“We do have a designer every year for the button. This year it was Cynthia Tacket, was our button design winner,” Nesbitt said.

You can buy a button beforehand on First Night Youngstown’s website, at the First Night Youngstown headquarters on Boardman Street or at several Valley businesses.

Buttons will also be for sale at downtown venues on New Year’s Eve.

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