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Going out with a bang

Saratoga Spring’s First Night celebration returns for the 17th year on Dec. 31, and, yes, fireworks will be part of the fun.

Saratoga Spring’s First Night celebration returns for the 17th year on Dec. 31, and, yes, fireworks will be part of the fun.

More than 15,000 people are expected to ring in the New Year in the Spa City this month as part of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration between New York City and Montreal.

“If you live in the Upstate area, it’s the place to be on New Years Eve,” said First Night organizer Jackie Marchand, of Saratoga Arts Center.

Marchand said people come from all over for the city’s celebration.

“We have ticket sales from Maine, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts and even South Carolina,” she said.

Saratoga Spring’s First Night celebration returns for the 17th year on Dec. 31, and organizers are certain this year will not disappoint.

“We have a lot of new things going on,” Marchand said.

The theme this year is “Explore the Night,” and it is meant to encourage people to explore the city and try something new.

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Step dancing will be among the attractions at Saratoga Springs' First Night celebration.

“We want people to get out and see not only their favorites, but something different,” Marchand said.

Radio Disney will kick off the evening in the City Center at 5:30 p.m. with the Next Big Thing season five winners, Chloe and Halle. The concert will include interactive entertainment, music and prizes and conclude with a meet and greet with the NBT winners.

New this year is a mini-musical festival called First Fest where six up-and-coming young bands will perform on one stage at the City Center. In addition, Marchand said kids won’t want to miss the Buccanneer Bindlestiff’s Swashbuckling Cirkus at Lake Avenue Elementary School, where a variety of other children’s events will be held. Also new this year are high-tech laser shows at the City Center starting at 7:40 p.m. and occurring each hour until 11:40 p.m.

Most venues are within walking distance of Broadway, but all shows can be reached by a free bus service provided by CDTA from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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