Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tucson: 'First Night' to showcase Downtown


From: William Dell []
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 7:03 AM


'First Night' to showcase Downtown ®

Published: 12.21.2008

'First Night' to showcase Downtown
By Cara Rene


Tucsonans will have a fresh option for celebrating New Year's Eve this year.
The Downtown Tucson Partnership is launching First Night – an eclectic arts and culture festival, and the most ambitious event our city has produced.

First Night will begin at 4 p.m. and end at midnight, with most performances starting every hour on the hour at seven locations Downtown. Each will last 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to walk to the next venue.

It's a non-alcoholic family affair designed to be welcoming to parents with young children as well as teens and adults of all ages.

There will entertainment appropriate for children, as well as teens and adults. You'll be choosing between live multi-genre music, dance, comedy, magic, visual arts, interactive activities and more.
To get inside some venues, you will need to buy an admission button.

But there also will be continuous free entertainment at La Placita Village courtyard and the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall courtyard. The Tucson Children's Museum will present free entertainment in its outdoor spaces from 4-8 p.m.

First Night is a popular concept in more than 100 American cities including St. Louis, Mo.; Hartford, Conn.; Austin, Texas; Tacoma, Wash., and Boston, where the original First Night was born in 1976.
Many of the First Night events around the country are treasured holiday celebrations that feature extensive community involvement, dozens of entertainment venues, parades and fireworks, and often draw upwards of 30,000 people. We hope to expand our event in the same way over the years to come.
In Tucson's inaugural year, First Night will be on a smaller scale from the long-established sister festivals. Yet it will still offer an impressive program of live performances at several Downtown venues.
The event also is an opportunity to introduce Tucsonans and visitors to changes taking place Downtown. Those who come to the festival may be surprised by additions to the landscape and new businesses, including restaurants.

The Partnership's mission is to revitalize Downtown by creating and supporting business expansion, refurbishing structures, initiating new construction and attracting residents and visitors to the many restaurants, retail establishments and housing options. First Night fits right in.
The festival also will showcase Downtown performance spaces.

The Tucson Convention Center's Leo Rich Theatre and its outdoor plaza, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, Fox Theatre, Beowulf Alley Theatre, Tucson Children's Museum and La Placita Village's courtyard will each present a rich schedule of entertainment.

None of the participating venues will be selling alcohol. This aspect makes the event an attractive alternative for families and others for New Year's Eve.

Of course, those who wish to partake in a traditional party scene may do so: Many Downtown bars and restaurants will be open.

First Night will be capped at midnight in the Leo Rich Plaza with a dynamic laser light show paired with the energetic sounds of Brazilian-style music and dance ensemble Batucaxé.
Street parking Downtown will be free starting at 3 p.m. Infrequent visitors to Downtown will learn what the regulars already know — parking is plentiful, affordable and easy to find.
Look for a festival program inserted in today's Star. Please join us for the inaugural First Night. We need you be a part of making this festival a Tucson tradition.

If you go :
Tickets for First Night are colorful admission buttons that are worn at the festival to allow entry into all venues and performances.
Buttons are $12 for adults, $6 for children aged 6-12. Kids 5 and younger are admitted free.
You can buy buttons at Bookmans, Food City, the Tucson Convention Center box office, Fox Theatre and at online.

This is only a partial list of First Night performances. For more information visit online

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260 S. Church Ave. Sponsored by Cox Communications. Featuring a program of Hispanic Roots entertainment.
4-4:45pm: Tucson Symphony Orchestra's String Quartet – Josefina the Javelina (a musical adventure)
5-5:45pm: Mariachi Aguilitas de Davis
6-6:45pm: Nelly y Javier (Las canciones del amor)
7-7:45pm: Ballet Folklorico Tapatio (traditional Mexican dance)
8-8:45pm: Los Cuatros Vientos (mariachi quartet)
9-9:45pm: La Mezcla (Latin salsa & fusion)
10-10:45pm & 11-11:45pm: Santa Cruz River Band (Southwestern folk music)


260 S. Church Ave. Sponsored by Tucson Pima Arts Council.
Ongoing: Art installation by Mat Bevel
3:30-6pm: The Physics Factory
3:30-5:30pm: Amber Norgaard
5:30-6:30pm: The Shantowskis
6:30-7:30pm: The Mission Creeps
7:30-8:30pm: Beatnik Dream Vacation
8:30-9:30pm: Namoli Brennet
9:30-11:30pm: El Camino Royales
12-midnight: GRAND FINALE


Sponsored by Ward VI City Council Member Nina Trasoff.
160 S. Scott Ave.
4-4:45pm & 5-5:30pm: Rodney Housley Children's Magic Show
6-6:45pm: Mirror Image (twin sister jazz duo)
7-7:45pm: Degrazia Spanish Band (Spanish guitar)
8-8:45pm: Silver Thread Trio (folk/jazz/world music)
9-9:45pm: Leila Lopez (folk fusion)
10-10:45pm & 11-11:45 pm: Tim Wiedenkeller (bluegrass)


200 S. Sixth Ave. Sponsored by Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup. All outside entertainment is FREE. A festival badge gets you inside to enjoy the hands-on activities.
4-4:45pm: Thorton Willoughby, the Southwestern Wizard (magic)
5-5:45pm: Human Project New Era (hip hop dance)
6-6:45pm: Sticks and Fingers (percussion group)
7-7:45pm: Puppet Muzik (puppet show)


11 S. Sixth Ave. Sponsored by Tucson Newspapers, Inc.,
4-4:45pm: Stories that Soar!
5-5:45pm: Lisa Otey and Diane Van Deurzen (singalong)
6-6:45pm: Stories that Soar!
7-7:45pm: Lisa Otey and Diane Van Deurzen (blues)
8-8:45pm: LaughingStock Comedy Company (improv)
9-9:45pm: Angel and the Blues Disciples
10-10:45pm: LaughingStock Comedy Company
11-11:45pm: Angel and the Blues Disciples


110 S. Church Ave. Sponsored by Tucson Pima Arts Council. Free children's programming early in the festival moving on to family-friendly singers and bands later in the evening.
4pm-4:45pm: The Dusty Buskers
5pm-5:45pm: The Rosano Bros
6pm-6:45pm: Beatnik Dream Vacation
7pm-7:45pm: Kate Becker Project
8pm-8:45pm: Stefan George
9pm-9:45pm: The Tryst
10pm-10:45pm: The Evolution
11pm-11:45pm: The Dusty Buskers


17 W. Congress St.
Children's movies will show from 4pm to 6pm, with other films running all evening.


Cara Rene is vice president for community development of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Her email is

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