SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga Springs’ First Night is getting an overhaul this year, and the reimagined two-day event will include a variety of entertainment throughout the city. The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Discover Saratoga, the Saratoga Springs City Center, and the City of Saratoga Springs, have released a detailed guide to the festivities, planned for Dec. 31, 2022, and Jan. 1, 2023.
“Saratoga’s First Night was a beloved community event, and we knew how important it was to host a New Year’s Eve celebration here in our city,” said Dillon Moran, Commissioner of Accounts, City of Saratoga Springs. “By partnering with other organizations throughout the city, we’ve been able to collaborate and bring to life an event we hope everyone in the area will enjoy.”
Public Works Commissioner, Jason Golub, recently announced the historic Congress Park Carousel will be open Saturday, December 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. free of charge to the public. Normally closed during the winter months, the carousel will be a special opportunity for families and attendees to enjoy. Weather permitting, Congress Park will also, for the first time, host a skating rink for public skating.
Fireworks to celebrate the New Year will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday from the top of the Lake Avenue side of the City Center parking garage. Attendees are encouraged to arrive downtown prior to the start with prime viewing along Ellsworth Jones place, Maple Avenue, Excelsior Avenue, Lake Avenue, and in The Saratogian parking lot.
“We are thrilled to be the new location for the Saratoga New Year’s Fest fireworks,” said Ryan McMahon, executive director of the Saratoga Springs City Center. “We all look forward to seeing what Santore Fireworks creates for the big night.”
Dance Flurry organizers will host a mini Dance Flurry event on Saturday, happening at the Saratoga City Music Hall in the newly-renovated Saratoga Springs City Hall. The event will feature a variety of performers with guided dance instruction throughout.
“Come dance the night away in downtown Saratoga Springs as part of this new Saratoga New Year’s Fest,” said Darryl Leggieri, president of Discover Saratoga. “We look forward to incorporating this popular Saratoga event into this year’s Saratoga New Year’s Fest.”
More than 20 different acts located all throughout well-known venues in downtown Saratoga Springs will officially kick off at 7 p.m. The current participating venues include Saratoga Springs City Center, Universal Preservation Hall, Putnam Place, The Parting Glass, Whitman Brewing Company, Bailey’s Café, The Ice House, The Wine Bar, Saratoga City Music Hall, and Hampton Inn.
Event organizers say they are excited to welcome the Cowboy Junkies as this year’s headline show. The Toronto, Ontario-based alternative country/blues/folk rock band will perform its biggest hits, including “Blue Moon Revisited,” “Sweet Jane,” and “Misguided Angel.”
Other performers include:
- Jeffrey Gaines
- The Samples
- Delvon Lamar Organ Trio
- Deadgrass and Friends
- Peter Parcek Band
- George Fletcher Blues Band
- The Bob Stump Tree-Oh
- Kevin Richards
- Jenny Grace Band
- Maggie’s Clan
- Keith Pray Quartet
- Cait Devin
- Clare Maloney & The Great Adventure
- Kevin Kelly
- 18 Strings of Trouble
- Son of a Gun
Residents and out-of-town visitors interested in celebrating Saratoga New Year’s Fest by attending are encouraged to purchase their badges ahead of time. Event badges will provide full access to all venues throughout the night and may be purchased online or in person at Adirondack Trust, Impressions of Saratoga, Dark Horse Mercantile, Putnam Place, The Ice House, Bailey’s Café, and select in-city Stewart’s Shops.
The celebration will carry over into New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, beginning with the Saratoga First Day 5K. The 5K will start at 11 a.m. outside of the City Center on Broadway, proceeding down Lake Avenue to Excelsior Avenue and back to the City Center. Registration for the 5K costs $30 per person and is a separate purchase from Saratoga New Year’s Fest tickets.
“We’d like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Death Wish Coffee Co., our Supporting Sponsor,
Druthers Brewing Company, and our community sponsors for helping make this event possible,”
said Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “With a strong lineup of acts, the return of fireworks, and additional special opportunities, we look forward to welcoming everyone to our downtown community to kick off the start of a bright New Year.”
Volunteers are still needed for the events. Those interested in volunteering may sign up online.