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First Night Saratoga 2020

December 31, 2019

Please Note: We are currently in the process of updating our info for 2019. In the meantime, you can still view 2018 details for an idea of what to expect.

First Night is New York's largest New Year's Eve event outside of New York City! Approximately 15,000 people are expected to attend this year to bring in 2019. The theme this year is, "Let's Celebrate!"


  • Live music from dozens of bands covering a full range of genres
  • Comedy from an array of the region's best stand-up acts
  • Mind arts featuring a mentalist, a hypnotist, a magician, and more
  • Extended hours at shops and restaurants
  • Annual First Night 5K Run at 5:30pm
  • First Night events kick off at 6:00pm
  • Fireworks at midnight in Congress Park

Find a full guide of events here to best plan your evening.


Music spans all genres: rock, country, jazz, blues, classical, and more.

  • Sydney Worthley
  • Professor Louie & the Crowmatix
  • Woodstock Horns
  • Sawyer Fredericks
  • Georgie Wonders Orchestra
  • Sirsy
  • Bovine Social Club
  • The Lied To's
  • Mike Campese
  • Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues
  • Deja vu Jazz
  • Hetko Siegel Syracuse
  • The New Edge
  • Michael Benedict
  • Mark Tolstrup
  • Jimy Graham
  • Ryan Leddick Trio
  • Sydney Schizzano
  • The Onlys
  • The Racing City Chorus
  • Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus
  • Maestro Ustad Shafaat Khan


  • Country Line Dancing With Kevin Richards
  • Dance Instruction From Saratoga Chamber Players and Tango Fusion
  • Mise Eire Irish Dancers Dancing to the Uilleann Pipe Tunes of the Grafton Street Trio
  • Big Band Hits From the Georgie Wonders Orchestra

Comedy & Mind Arts

  • Empire State College Rotunda - Comedy Works Presents Best Regional Standups
  • Saratoga Arts - Hilarious Cabaret by FAB the Duo & Will Shakespeare - Sword Fights, Shipwrecks, Musical Numbers & More
  • Salvation Army - Michael Ray With Hypnotic Powers

For the Kids

  • Children's Museum at Saratoga - New Year's Traditions Around the World
  • Lake Avenue School - Cotton Candy, Face Painting, and one-man circus from Troy Wunderle, Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus
  • Arm-of-the-Sea - Award-Winning Theater Troupe
  • Tribute Event - Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash
  • Big Fez & the Surfmatics and Flame

Jump to: Shuttle and Parking | Venues | Buttons | Volunteer

First Night 2016 in Congress Park

Photo: Jacob Weakland

First Night Fireworks 2016

first night fireworks
Photo Credit: John Seymour

Dancers performing at the Saratoga City Center

A Beatles cover band performs

A dancer at the Saratoga City Center

Runners take off at the First Night 5K

Runners participate in the First Night 5K

Shuttle and Parking

Free shuttle! CDTA offers a special Saratoga First Night transportation service on New Year's Eve, putting First Night attendees within easy walking distance of all the venues. Attendees who show First Night buttons ride for free on all regular Saratoga bus routes and the two special shuttle routes from 4pm through 1am. All bus stops are marked with yellow First Night signs and arrive and depart every 15 minutes from all spots on the First Night downtown loop. See bus stop locations »

You can also park at the Wilton Mall or leave your car in place at Skidmore after the 5K roadrace!

Special stops:

  • Wilton Mall at 5:30pm to Congress Park
  • Skidmore at 6:45pm to Congress Park
  • Congress Park at 8:30pm to Wilton
  • Wilton at 8:45pm to Congress Park
  • Congress Park at 10:15pm to Skidmore
  • Congress Park at 12:30am to Skidmore and then Wilton

The Wilton bus stop is on the side of the Dick's Sporting Goods building - not the bus stop in front of Bon Ton.

If you have questions about the bus routes/stops, visit the CDTA's supervisor van near Congress Park.

By Car

The best parking is on the street near the performance site you're attending. Off-street parking is available in the following lots:

  • Woodlawn Avenue, between Division and Church Streets
  • Church Street, at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue
  • Broadway, between Lake Avenue and Grove Street, across from Walton Street
  • Parking garage at Putnam and Phila Streets
  • Parking lot behind the Saratoga Springs Senior Center, at 5 Williams Street
  • Park at the Wilton Mall and take the CDTA shuttle
  • Leave your car in place after the 5K roadrace at Skidmore
  • Not a runner? Park at Skidmore after 6:45pm when the campus is opened back up to vehicles

See the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce's parking map. Street parking is available as well, just make sure to pay attention to the posted time limits, which vary from location to location.


Most First Night venues are within reasonable walking distance of each other. It's a beautiful stroll through downtown Saratoga Springs, but dress warm as it can be chilly! Most shops and restaurants are open late, so you can also stop in to your favorite spot to warm up.

See First Night Saratoag 2019 Entertainment Venues »


One button does it all! A First Night Saratoga admission button provides you access to all First Night venues, performances, and happenings, plus the free shuttle all night long. Get your button starting on December 1st at the following locations:

At Saratoga Arts and online, buttons will be sold for $15 from December 1st through December 25th, 2018. After December 25th, the discount ends, and buttons will be priced at $20 through New Year's Eve.

On December 31st, 2018, buttons can be purchased at Saratoga Arts, the Saratoga City Center, Lake Avenue School, and The Children's Museum at Saratoga. One child ages 12 and under can receive free admission with each paid adult.

Please Note: Make sure to wear your button visibly throughout the evening at First Night.

Volunteer At First Night!

First Night would not be possible without the help of many dedicated volunteers!

All volunteers receive a free First Night Saratoga admission button, a First Night poster, snacks during their shift, and a discount certificate for a hot meal in town prior to their shift. Area managers and site captains will also receive a complimentary membership to Saratoga Arts as a thank you.

Register to volunteer early this year, especially if you have a favorite venue you wish to be placed at. All volunteers will be required to attend a one hour training session on one evening in December.

Check out the First Night 2019 Volunteer Form »

Make First Night Saratoga a yearly New Year's tradition for your family! For more information on this holiday event, contact Saratoga Arts at 518.584.4132 or visit them online.

Helpful Links

First Night Schedule »
Parking In Downtown Saratoga Springs »
Saratoga Restaurants & Nightlife »
Lodging in Saratoga Springs »

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