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Holiday Shopping & Events Guide

First Night Akron celebrating 17th year in 2012

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo: Dale Dong
DOWNTOWN AKRON — First Night® Akron is a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts featuring music, theater, dance and visual/interactive performances.

The 17th annual event will take place Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight in Downtown Akron.

Admission buttons allow access to all First Night venues, entertainment and activities, including free METRO bus rides to each location in Downtown Akron. Buttons are normally priced at $10, and children younger than 10 are admitted free with a button-wearing adult.

Buttons will be available for purchase at the First Night Akron office, 103 S. High St., Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the following locations beginning Nov. 23: Acme Fresh Market locations, the Akron Beacon Journal Customer Service Desk, Angel Falls Coffee in Highland Square, Carolyn’s Cupboard, FirstMerit Bank (participating branches), Gasoline Alley in Bath and The Library Shop on Main, Lock 3 Park and Stage Left Boutique at the Akron Civic Theatre in Downtown Akron.

The Kids Fireworks Show will be at 9 p.m., preceded by the Akron Children’s Hospital Kids Countdown Show, and the FirstMerit Fireworks will be at midnight, with the Midnight Countdown Show at 11:45 p.m.

Other entertainment will include musicians, art exhibits, games, dancers, ice carvers, horse-drawn sleigh and buggy rides, and crafts. For complete details, visit www.firstnightakron.org.

Shown above right, Kent State University Ice Carving Club members Mitch Schrader (foreground) and Chad Goehler make ice fly for a watching crowd at last year’s event.

Also, local social service organizations are provided the opportunity to distribute free admission buttons for First Night Akron to their low-income, elderly and disabled clients. Now in its 16th year, Downtown Akron Partnership’s Community Outreach Program provides a night of entertainment to residents who might not otherwise be able to afford a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Community Outreach applications will be emailed to organizations, and all requests must be returned by Nov. 28. Buttons are allocated based on the number of requests and the number of sponsored buttons available. Admission buttons provided through this program are sponsored by local foundations and will be available to organizations in early December. Call 330-374-7618 or email lfry@downtownakron.com for details.

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