Maybe the thermometer said 13 degrees but nothing keeps the citizens of Fort Collins inside when there’s a party going on. The spirit of founding mother and party animal, Auntie Stone, was once again resurrected as the locals and not so locals rallied for the 22nd celebration of the annual tradition called, First Night.
Begun as an alternative to the alcohol-soaked celebrations of years past, First Night is a family oriented series of events including music, dance, comedy, circus acts, a puppet show and ending with a dazzling fireworks display.
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Events were held in a number of venues including the Opera Galleria, where the Canyon Concert Ballet and Choice City Singers took the stage, and the dimly lit Northern Hotel where Michael Stanwood played the digeridoo and the Old Town Puppet Company performed Little Red Riding Hood and Puff the Magic Dragon. Debut Theater performed the Wizard of Oz at the Art Lab and Community Christ Church featured an African drum and dance and the Presto Digitators magic show.
The Aztlan Community Center hosted a number of activities including a room full of oversized inflatables. Bas Bleu Theater performed “A Miscellany of Music and Monologues.
Few seemed deterred by the cold temperatures, but any music scheduled to be performed in Old Town Square was cancelled. Restaurants filled to capacity and skaters hit the ice.
A spectacular fireworks display presented by UC Health brought an end to the official festivities but the party was far from over. Old Town Square became progressively more crowded as the hour approached midnight. 2017 faded into history as Fort Collins rang in the New Year.