Skip to main content

December 6, 2021

First Night® Buffalo at Home

Virtual entertainment line-up unveils; family party packs sold at Tops Friendly Markets

The Independent Health Foundation, in partnership with John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, today announced the full, virtual line-up of performances and activities for First Night® Buffalo at Home, which will be accessible online for free on New Year’s Eve.  First Night® Family Party Packs, including everything a family of four needs to celebrate the new year at home, are now on sale at select Tops Friendly Markets, both for in-store and online purchases.

First Night® Buffalo, one of Independent Health Foundation’s signature events, will mark its 33rd year as a family-friendly engagement full of activities and entertainment.  As the event that led to the establishment of the Independent Health Foundation in 1992, First Night® also marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of the Independent Health Foundation’s 30th anniversary in 2022.

“As we look forward to a joyful holiday season, we’re excited to bring First Night® Buffalo to families’ homes through free, virtual access to our entertaining line-up of performers. Plus, the Family Party Packs available at Tops Friendly Markets make for an affordable add-on to the online performances,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation. “The roots of the Independent Health Foundation originally grew from First Night® Buffalo 30 years ago and we look forward to continuing to help our community get and stay healthy for many years to come.”

Oishei Children’s Hospital has teamed up with the Independent Health Foundation to provide First Night® programming for families to enjoy from the safety of their homes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Our priority remains keeping our community’s kids safe and healthy, so we are excited to once again partner with the Independent Health Foundation to bring a safe New Year’s celebration opportunity to families in Western New York,” said Allegra Jaros, president, Oishei Children’s Hospital.

First Night® Buffalo at Home line-up of performers and activities

All videos and interactive activities will be available at on December 31. The cast of performers includes:

Jeff Musial – Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics: Jeff and his exotic animals are back! Join us on the wild side – come see the animals; stay for Jeff’s amazing facts and great jokes!

Nick Presents Magic: Nick’s show is an interactive magic and comedy experience for everyone to enjoy – prepare to watch the magic unfold before your eyes!

Dance Party with DJ Milk: Plug in that disco light bulb, grab those glow sticks and let’s move! Groove with DJ Milk as he plays your favorite tunes!

In Jest with Nels Ross: Get ready for a great comedy juggling show that is sure to blow you away! The best part of it all? Grab those juggling scarves because you can learn how to juggle too!

Emmalee’s Memories: Your favorite characters are back! Moana, Rapunzel, and Spiderman are here to ring in the New Year! Get ready to sing, dance, and move!

Slyboots Circus: Join Slyboots Circus as they teach the art of drumming and dance! Travel the world and learn more about culture from Ghana.

Squiggly Art Face Painting: Grab that face paint and Tanitra will show you how to create a masterpiece in minutes! She has designs the whole family will enjoy!

Adam Kreutinger: The Puppet Nerd: Learn how to make your own paper puppet and meet some of Adam’s amazing creations! Be on the lookout for more puppet appearances throughout the show.

First Night® Buffalo Family Party Packs; 30 Include a ‘Golden Ticket’!

Families may purchase First Night® Buffalo Family Party Packs for $20 at the Customer Service Desk of participating Tops Friendly Markets while supplies last.  Party Packs contain everything a family of four needs to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home and include free admission to the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights in Hamburg, N.Y., in addition to the following:

  • party hats
  • noise makers 
  • juggling scarves  
  • coloring banner crayons  
  • Explore & More Activity Booklet
  • disco ball lightbulb
  • neon face paint
  • temporary tattoos 
  • Wikki Stix Wax Creations  
  • recipe card
  • balloons
  • glow sticks
  • balloon animals
  • family conversation cards

The First Night® Buffalo Family Party Packs are also available for shipping online through the First Night® website.

In addition, to help kick-off the Independent Health Foundation’s 30th anniversary celebration, 30 random party packs throughout the region will include a Golden Ticket with a $30 Tops gift card for those lucky families.

Independent Health Foundation to Celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2022

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, visit

The Independent Health Foundation was founded in 1992 after the original organizers of First Night® Buffalo asked Independent Health to become a sponsor.  After the third year of First Night®, the Independent Health Foundation was created to begin producing the event and has continued to do so every year for the past 30 years.

Since its inception, the Foundation has grown to provide hundreds of engaging activities each year, reaching over 100,000 individuals through additional programs such as Good for the Neighborhood, Soccer for Success, Kids Run, Fitness for Kids Challenge, Healthy Options, and Growing up Strong.

Last year, the first-ever virtual First Night® Buffalo at Home was an incredible success:

  • Over 20,000 family members throughout Western New York viewed the virtual entertainment
  • Over 8,000 celebrated New Year’s Eve with the First Night® Buffalo Family Party Pack
  • More than 95% of families who participated in First Night® last year responded to a survey asking for a virtual entertainment program again this year

First Night® Buffalo at Home 2022, brought to you by the Independent Health Foundation in partnership with Oishei Children’s Hospital, is sponsored by Independent Health, The Buffalo News, Lamar Advertising, The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Tops Friendly Markets, and Channel 7 WKBW.

More information about First Night® Buffalo at Home, including a list of Tops Friendly Markets locations selling the family Party Packs, is available online at

Back to the Archives

Look back on our past press releases and news stories.