If you still don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve, consider the 20th annual First Night Akron event offering more than 80 family-friendly activities throughout the city from 6 p.m. – midnight on Thursday, December 31.
For only a $10 admission button, you can choose from over 80 music, dance, theater and interactive and visual arts activities at various Akron venues that all ages can enjoy. Among the venues participating are the Akron Art Museum, the Akron Civic Theater, Greystone Hall, the Akron-Summit County Public Library, the John S. Knight Center, Summit Airspace, Mainstage on Main Street and the Zion Lutheran Church. Among just some of the entertainment at First Night Akron is the University of Akron Steel Drum Band, Hard Day’s Night (a Beatles tribute band). the Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble, Box of Squirrels, the Magical Theater Company, Shivering Timbers, Brian Henke, the Theron Brown Jazz Trio, Colin Dussault’s Blues Project, Background Boys Bluegrass Band, Akron Big Band and RedonFire (fire/flag dancing). And don’t let the kids miss the live-action interactive “Star Wars” Show taking place at Zion Lutheran Church from 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and from 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Other First Night Akron activities include viewing the Goodyear Ice Sculpture Garden (at Lock 3), face painting, mask making, balloon twisting, performances by a magician and an interactive musical comedian and horse-drawn sleigh ride. Highlights at First Night Akron include a Laser Light Show (at John S. Knight Center) and the FirstMerit Fireworks Show at midnight at Lock 3. The children can enjoy the Star Wars Fun Room (ages 4-9) taking place at Zion Lutheran Church from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. and featuring games and crafts.
Several of the venues will also be offering food and beverages for purchase with menu items like Philly cheese steak sandwiches, pizza by the slice and kosher hot dogs (Greystone Hall), street tacos and hamburger sliders (John S. Knight Center). soup, sandwiches and pastries (Akron Art Museum) and chili, homemade Hungarian sausage, sauerkraut, sloppy joes and nachos (Zion Lutheran Church). First Night Akron is a family-oriented and alcohol-free event. Free parking is available in downtown Akron all evening long. Metro buses are available to take you to First Night venues.
Admission buttons are $10 for ages 10 and up. Children under the age of 10 are free. Activities begin at 6 p.m. and go until midnight and the ringing in of 2016, ending with the fireworks spectacular. First Night Akron buttons can be purchased at various locations including Acme Fresh Markets in downtown Akron, the Library Shop on Main, the Akron Civic Theater box office, FirstMerit Banks, the Akron Art Museum, Angel Falls Coffee and Lock 3.
Visitors can also purchase a Discover Downtown Akron Passport for $15 that will give them admission to several other events through December, 2016. For more information about Akron First Night get online at www.firstnightakron.org. Akron is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.