First Night Highlights

Boston’s First Night celebration will take place on Dec. 31 in and around the Back Bay and Boston Common. The celebration begins with performances at 11:45 a.m., with the family friendly fireworks at 7 p.m. Below are a few highlights of the evening. The full schedule can be found at

•1 p.m. – Emancipation Proclamation Concert with Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St. – Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History partner to present the eighth annual Emancipation Proclamation Concert, a joyous celebration of liberty and freedom. Join H+H musicians, conductor Scott Allen Jarrett, and National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson to commemorate Boston’s historic central role in the abolition movement, to celebrate the spirit of progress for human rights, and to recognize the role of music in creating an alliance and belonging.

•3 p.m. – The King of Instruments, Old South Church (645 Boylston St.) – Experience the “Sensurround” magnificence of Old South Church’s mighty 1921 E. M. Skinner pipe organ — affectionately dubbed the “Copley Philharmonic Organ.” In repertoire designed to showcase its myriad colors, Minister of Music Mitchell Crawford offers a diverse program the whole family is sure to enjoy. Free and open to the public.

•4 p.m. – First Night Organ Concert, First Church of Christ, Scientist (Mother Church Extension), 210 Mass Ave. – Join us on New Year’s Eve for a concert featuring accomplished organists: Stephen Loher – Assistant Organist, The First Church of Christ, Scientist; George Sargeant – Associate Minister of Music, Old South Church; Douglas Major – Concert Organist, former organist at The National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
These organists will be playing an Aeolian-Skinner Organ, which is one of the largest in the world. The organ has over 13,000 pipes that range from the size of a pencil to 32 feet in length. It is played from the four-manual console located in front of the platform. The Church hosts regular organ concerts every other month.

•5:30 p.m. – Boston Skating Spectacular, Frog Pond, Boston Common – Please join the Skating Club of Boston and the City of Boston to ring in the New Year at First Night Boston with a free ice show. The show will feature local Boston skaters and a very special guest star. This event is sure to please the whole family.

•7 p.m. – Family Friendly Fireworks, Boston Common – Enjoy a fantastic Fireworks Display over Boston Common, brought to you by The Mugar Foundation. The display is expected to last about 20 minutes.

•8 p.m. – Pipes and Pops, Old South Church, 645 Boylston St. – The best of Boston’s brass and percussion artists join Minister of Music Mitchell Crawford in a supersonic program, presenting fun and engaging arrangements of popular classics, as well as a seasonal sing of “Auld Lang Syne.” Free and open to the public.

•Midnight – Fireworks over the Harbor – Boston Harbor Now, is proud to host New Year’s Eve Midnight Harbor Fireworks for 2020. Ring in the new year with a brilliant display from a barge centered between Long Wharf and Fan Pier. Ideal viewing locations are from Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, Fan Pier in the Seaport District, and from the East Boston Harborwalk. The display is expected to last 30 minutes. •Midnight – Countdown in Copley – First Night culminates with the highly anticipated Midnight Pyrotechnics and Light Show, with a multi-sensory display of live music in Copley Square. Gather in front of the Copley Library.

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