Special to the Sun
Mayor Michelle Wu joined City leadership to share the City’s preparations for First Night, Boston’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. The City is a partner of the New Year’s Eve event, which is formally run by Boston Celebrations, Inc, and managed by Conventures, Inc. All parties are taking steps to ensure public safety as Boston rings in the New Year. This is the first year since the COVID-19 pandemic that First Night is returning to its regular, full programming.
“We all deserve to enjoy these celebrations and want to preserve the sense of First Night truly being welcoming to everyone from every generation,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The majority of this year’s activities and performances will take place outside so please be sure to check the weather, layer up and dress accordingly. I hope everyone has a wonderful new year and can’t wait to see you all at the parade and all of the festivities this weekend.”
First Night will feature more than 15 hours of free programming across two days in Copley Square and the Back Bay. The event has returned indoor programming to its agenda from last year, when it was held entirely outdoors. Indoor programming is available at area churches, the Boston Public Library, and Copley Place Mall. The main stage in Copley Square will have a new location for 2023, now situated in front of Boston Public Library, with Dartmouth Street closed to traffic.
The Boston Police Department will be present at First Night to support this family-friendly event. Additionally, Boston Police are reminding attendees not to consume alcohol or marijuana in public spaces or prohibited private spaces, not to fly drones at any First Night activities, to dress accordingly for the weather, and to report any suspicious activity.
“We will not only have a large presence around official First Night celebrations but across the City in all of our neighborhoods as well,” said Commissioner Michael Cox, Boston Police Department. “We will utilize all specialized units needed to ensure public safety and we ask for the public’s assistance in making this a Happy New Year for all.”
A parade from Copley to the Boston Common will lead up to the Family Fireworks over the Common starting at 7:00 p.m. Midnight Fireworks over Boston Harbor will once again be produced by the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park. More information can be found at boston.gov/first-night.
The public is reminded that it is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks, and that illegal fireworks pose significant dangers to the safety of residents and their property.
“Boston Fire is ready to work with our city and state agencies to have a successful First Night Celebration,” said Commissioner Paul F. Burke, Boston Fire Department. “BFD will have our Tactical Response Unit, Hazmat Techs, Inspectors as well as fully staffed engine companies on and around the event areas to support the public’s safety in any way we can.”
Boston EMS will also be deploying additional personnel at dispatch operations and in ambulances on New Year’s Eve.
“Celebrating responsibly is not just about looking out for yourself, but also those you are with, ensuring everyone gets home safe,” said Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley. “If anyone requires emergency medical services, please call us. Boston EMS personnel are posted throughout the City. We are incredibly grateful for our EMTs and Paramedics, as well as all members of public safety, healthcare and other industries, working through holidays.”
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) recommends wearing masks when attending events indoors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Especially during the holiday season, BPHC recommends people get their COVID-19 vaccine and booster, test before and after attending gatherings, and to stay home if they’re sick.
“We are proud to keep this Boston tradition shining bright, and entirely free for guests of all ages,” said Dusty Rhodes, president of Conventures, and organizer of First Night. “We are very appreciative of the support of our corporate sponsors, and from the City of Boston, without whom this event would not be possible. We can’t wait to welcome Boston’s visitors and residents alike on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”
First Night festivities will impact traffic and parking in the Back Bay as well as along Boston’s waterfront. People coming into the City to celebrate are strongly encouraged not to drive. Details on parking and traffic restrictions can be found at https://tinyurl.com/Bos-hol-traffic-advisory.
The MBTA will be free on all modes of travel after 8:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Updated holiday schedules can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/MBTA-holiday-schedule.