Celebrate the New Year at First Night Buffalo

Celebrate the New Year at First Night Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y., December 6, 2013 – Plans are underway for this year’s ultimate drug-and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration – Independent Health Foundation’s First Night Buffalo®, being held from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. First Night Buffalo is one of the longest-running First Night events held in the nation.

The Foundation and its sponsors gave a sneak peak of this year’s lineup at a press event Friday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center that featured Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics and Latin Souls Dance Group. The annual holiday family tradition, now in its 25th year in downtown Buffalo, offers family-friendly activities for all ages to ring in the New Year with rides and amusements including comedy juggler Evan Young, The Backyard Circus, The Red Trouser Show, musician Kevin McCarthy and a wide variety of other exciting performers.

"For 25 years, thousands of Western New York families have celebrated a drug- and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve at First Night Buffalo," said Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation. "The Independent Health Foundation is pleased to continue presenting this fun, affordable and safe event every New Year’s Eve. We have another great lineup of entertainment including many new acts that we know everyone will enjoy this year and some fun things planned to celebrate our 25th anniversary."

One of the new additions to the evening’s events for the 25th anniversary is a dedicated Multi-Cultural Celebrations Stage where several different cultural groups will perform throughout the night. Also, other anniversary activities include families being challenged to set a healthy goal for 2014 and collecting a key ring and 25 cards featuring health and wellness tips and healthy recipes that they can take home as a souvenir.

"Independent Health is dedicated to engaging individuals and families in a healthy lifestyle, and First Night Buffalo is the perfect place to kick off the New Year in a healthy and positive way," said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Independent Health. "We’re thrilled to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of this annual drug- and alcohol-free tradition that provides a healthy, fun and positive environment for families to start the New Year right. Thank you to our dedicated sponsors and volunteers, as this event would not be possible without them. We hope to see thousands of families at this year’s event."

Tickets are now on sale at all area Wegmans locations for $8, which include all rides, attractions and activities. Children ages 2-years-old and under are free. Tickets are $10 at the door. Free parking is available for attendees at the Fernbach and Main Place Mall parking ramps thanks to the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, Buffalo Board of Parking and Mayor Byron Brown.

"Twenty-five years ago, the Buffalo community was invited to enjoy a drug- and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve event and today I’m proud to say that First Night Buffalo continues as one of the great family-friendly traditions in downtown Buffalo," said Mayor Byron Brown. "I salute the founders of First Night Buffalo, its donors and volunteers for their continued commitment to the health and wellness of city residents and visitors, particularly at a time when Buffalo is experiencing over $2 billion in economic development activity. Thanks, First Night Buffalo, for adding to the momentum."

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the First Night Buffalo website at www.firstnightbuffalo.org, or call (716) 635-4959. Visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/IndependentHealthFoundation to see frequent updates on this year’s lineup.

First Night Buffalo is presented by the Independent Health Foundation and sponsored by Channel 7, Independent Health, The Buffalo News, VSP Marketing Graphic Group, and Lamar.

Established in 1992, the Independent Health Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of Western New York residents through awareness, prevention, education and other programs focused on community health priorities. For more information on the Foundation’s activities, visit www.independenthealth.com/foundation.