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What you need to know about First Night Boston 2014

Posted by Meghan Colloton  December 12, 2013 04:43 PM

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Boston’s First Night festivities are almost upon us. On Dec. 31, the city will be filled with an array of art, music, and dance events, as well as ice sculptures and fireworks displays. Are you planning to head into the city and partake in the fun? We’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about First Night Boston 2014.


Fireworks at the Boston Common as part of the First Night Celebration in 2010. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)

All outdoor First Night activities are free. Admission to all indoor events will require the purchase of a First Night button. Buttons are $10 for adults, and free for children 4 and under. A new button benefit will come out daily on Twitter via @FirstNight.

Here’s how you can buy tickets:
• Online through the Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular
• In person at the ArtsBoston’s BosTix booths in Faneuil Hall Marketplace or Copley Square
• In person at the City Hall To Go truck (you can also find the truck’s schedule on this page)
• In person at metro-Boston Bank of America branches, CVS stores, J.P. Licks, Harvard Books Store, the Museum of Fine Arts, and several other locations. A full list of button locations is available by visiting
• You can also obtain a VIP all access pass for $100, or premium seating pass to select special events throughout the day for $35, in advance. Visit to buy your premium pass and button.
• On Dec. 31, buttons will be available for purchase at the Hynes Convention Center.

(Please note: This is only a sampling of the events for First Night Boston. A full schedule of events, along with information on button sale locations and details on each performance, is available at

3 p.m.
“Beantown Outloud: A Literacy Celebration of Boston”
Boston Public Library, Central Library, 700 Boylston Street, Rabb Hall
Bestselling authors Sue Miller (The Good Mother and While I was Gone) and Chris Castellani (A Kiss from Maddalena and All This Talk of Love), will be joined by Regie Gibson, the Grub Street Teen Slam Poetry Team, and Steve Almond.
Closest T stop: Copley Square Green Line stop

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Bank of America Grand Procession
Boylston Street to Boston Common
This year’s theme is “Rise and Shine” and celebrates light. It will feature past favorites like Puppeteers’ Cooperative, Back Alley Puppet Theatre, inflatable floats, mobile sculptures, drummers, dancers, and duck boats.

Route: The Procession begins on Boylston Street at Dalton Street, continues on Boylston to Charles Street, turns left onto Charles Street, and finishes at the Parade Ground in Boston Common.
Best viewing: Anywhere along Boylston Street will provide prime viewing. It's usually most crowded around Copley Square, so consider finding a spot further down the street, closer to the Boston Common.
Get involved: If you’d like to carry puppets in the grand procession, visit the Hynes Convention Center between 4 p.m .– 5 p.m. to get involved.

Closest T stops: Hynes Convention Center, Copley Square, Arlington Street, Boylston Street & Park Street Green Line stops

6:45 p.m.
Sierra Hull
Berklee Performance Center
Premium seating passes are available
Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop

7 p.m.
Boston Family Fireworks, Boston Common
This fireworks display (presented by Boston 4 Productions) will follow the Bank of America Grand Procession and run for about ten minutes at Boston Common’s ballfield (at the corner of Boylston and Charles streets)
Closest T stops: Boylston Street Green Line stop or Park Street Green or Red Line stops

7:30 p.m.
Performance of “Safety Last” by Berklee Silent Film Orchestra
Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theater
Closest T stops: Boylston Street Green Line stop or Chinatown Orange Line stop

7: 30 p.m.
The Blind Boys of Alabama (with Anais Mitchell)
Hynes Convention Center, Convention Center Ballroom
Premium seating passes are available
Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop

8:30 p.m.
Patti Smith and her band (with Dean Wareham)
Hynes Convention Center, Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Premium seating passes are available
Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop

9 p.m.
Donald Harrison Quartet
Berklee Performance Center (seating at 8:45 p.m.)
Premium seating passes are available
Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop

State Street Corporation Midnight Fireworks
Boston Harbor


Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s The Ice Celebration
Faneuil Hall will feature street performers and four ice sculptures throughout the marketplace, which include an interactive icy throne and ice sleigh, snow family (which you can place your face through for a photo), and an ice World Series trophy, a replica of the World Series trophy honoring the Red Sox. Mix 104.1 will also be at the Rotunda from noon - 2 p.m. playing music and giving away prizes. All indoor events require a First Night button, and all outdoor activities are free.
Closest T stops: Aquarium/Faneuil Hall Blue Line stop, Government Center Green Line stop, State Street or Haymarket Orange Line stops, or Park Street Red Line stop

Liberty Mutual Copley Stage
Copley Square
The Liberty Mutual Copley Stage will serve as the center of this year’s festivities. Highlights include the event’s iconic ice sculptures, a video display projected onto the Boston Public Library (beginning at dusk and ending in a ten-minute countdown to midnight featuring a special video highlighting the history of Boston), and several musical performances:
9:30 p.m.: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
11:15 p.m.: Gentlemen Hall
Closest T stop: Copley Square Green Line stop

Family Festival
Hynes Convention Center
This festival will include headliners Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell (You Are My Flower), Ellis Paul, a puppet festival presented by the Puppet Showplace Theatre, Simply Circus, and a new addition to the event: “First Light” -- three rooms of interactive sound and light reactive art exhibits. Here’s a full schedule:

1 p.m. & 3 p.m.: Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell, (Premium seating passes are available)
1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.: Simply Circus
2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.: The Airborne Comedians
2 p.m. & 4 p.m.: Ellis Paul

1 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Puppet Festival on 3 stages presented by the Puppet Showplace Theatre
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.: “First Light” interactive art installations
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Radio Disney
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Storytellers, face painting, magicians, music, dance, comedy, and more
Closest T stop: Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop

5 p.m. – midnight
Boston Common
This free event invites the public to participate in art activities that will transform the Boston Common temporarily before the artwork disappears at the end of the night. There will be 20 interactive art installations starting at 5 p.m. and running through midnight.
Closest T stop: Boylston Street Green Line stop or Park Street Green or Red Line stops

First Night planners recommend taking public transportation to all First Night activities. Most events are accessible by the MBTA’s green line. The T will begin running for free after 8 p.m., and the MBTA will boost service on its subway and commuter rail lines to accommodate people traveling to celebrate First Night. Visit the MBTA’s website at to plan your trip.

• First Night Boston will run rain or shine – so be sure to come prepared. You’ll want to dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes.
• Plan what specific events you want to attend ahead of time. The First Night website has an interactive schedule that you can sync to your phone or calendar, which you can view at An app for your phone featuring listings of First Night cultural and arts events, locations of ice sculptures, and more, is also available. The First Night app is free and can be downloaded from Apple and Google.

There are many volunteer opportunities available for First Night Boston 2014, including ushers, procession marshals, face painters, and puppet captains. You can volunteer on your own, or request to volunteer with a group. Visit for details on how to get involved.

For additional information on First Night Boston 2014, visit

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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.


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