Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council




First Night Posters with art by Sharon Bolton:

$20/ $15 - First Night 2019 

$10/ $5 - Previous First Nights

Need to Complete Your Button Collection?

$5 for buttons from 2008 to now and select previous years

First Night 5k Shirts: 

$10- First Night 2019

$5- Previous First Nights


Kids in Free

 Supported by the John Winter Family Fund


The legacy of John R. Winter, Jr. comes from his understanding that all young people have vast potential but that many youths need opportunities to encourage and foster the development of their God-given talent.  Through his generosity in creating the John Winter Family Fund, he established a source that can be used to allow more participation in programs such as the Saratoga Arts children's camp and First Night Kids in Free.

Saratoga Arts wants everybody to celebrate at First Night Saratoga 2019 - including kids! That's why we are maintaining our many years-long Kids in Free tradition, with one child aged 12 and under admitted free with each paid adult. To take advantage of our Kids in Free offer, detach the coupon on the First Night buttoncard and redeem it on New Year's Eve at one of the following locations:
Saratoga Arts (320 Broadway, Saratoga)
Saratoga City Center (522 Broadway) between 4 & 10pm
Lake Avenue School (126 Lake Ave) between 6 & 9pm
The Children's Museum at Saratoga (69 Caroline Street) between noon & 6pm

Participants receive a wristband that will allow one admission of a child 12 years old and under to all First Night venues.

The Children’s Museum at Saratoga will kick off the First Night New Year’s Eve by hosting a special event for children and their families.

First Night- The Good Luck Voyage Around the World & Let's Celebrate Parade for Kids-
Ringing in the New Year is a tradition celebrated around the world. It is a time to reminisce on the past year’s triumphs and tribulations while looking towards the future with a newfound glimmer of hope. Whether it be watching the ball drop, counting down to midnight, or stealing a kiss from your loved ones, we all have our own traditions. Grab your passport and take flight throughout the Children’s Museum at Saratoga to see how different countries put their own spin on New Year’s traditions. Participants will explore traditions from the US, Japan, China, Romania, Spain, Nigeria and Ecuador on this world wide voyage.  Children will also participate in a countdown to First Night Saratoga at 5:30 before parading to the kid-oriented activities at the Lake Avenue School.  The Children's Museum at Saratoga will offer free admission to button holders beginning at 4pm.


All First Night Saratoga events are family-friendly, but here are some that will particularly hold younger kids' interest!

Arm-of-the-Sea is a performance ensemble that channels the evocative power of mask & puppet theater as a force for joy, insight, and community uplift. Their original shows fuse the cutting-edge discoveries of science with the age-old arts of puppetry to enact stories that matter; stories that communicate across boundaries, revealing our common humanity, and illuminating essential relationships between people and the life-support networks of this blue-ocean planet.   In addition to Marallo & Wadden, the creative team includes designer Jean Whelan, musicians Dean Jones, Eli Winograd, Juan Basilio Sanchez, and performers Kira deCoudres, Anna Haffner, Sam Shippee, and Soyal Smalls. The Theater tours throughout the Northeast & mid-Atlantic states and also hosts an annual hometown extravaganza - THE ESOPUS CREEK PUPPET SUITE – each summer in Saugerties, NY.  Performance credits include: Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Detroit Festival of the Arts, Smithsonian Institute, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Lotus Festival of World Music, and the New Haven Festival of Art & Ideas.  This First Night, in a perfect antidote to the cold weather, Arm-of-the-Sea will be presenting three performances of “Dirt: The Secret Life of Soil” which is a lively primer for urban bumpkins and upcountry gardeners alike. Fusing cutting-edge science and age-old puppetry, DIRT takes audiences on an extravagant journey of discovery into the Great Underneath—revealing
the epic alchemy of plants, the fungi’s dance of mutual delight, and the microbes’ herculean labors. Featuring live music and a myriad of puppet gures ranging from 12 inches to 12 feet tall, the show reminds earthly residents of all ages how profoundly essential is the ground beneath their feet.  (#6: Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 6, 7:30 & 9pm)

Caricatures at Saratoga Arts are created by Mary A. Thompson who has been involved in the arts for many years and has been drawing at First Night Saratoga since 1998. Formal training includes studies at Clark University School of the Worcester Art Museum and Rochester Institute of Technology. She opened her business Caricatures And More in 2004, joined the International Society of Caricature Artists, and has drawn for numerous organizations and weddings. She taught caricaturing, cartooning, doodling, zen and classical drawing in area workshops & courses at BOCES and has illustrated a cookbook and a children's book among other illustration projects. Before that she was involved in the fiber arts with NYC gallery shows and sales of her work at Henri Bendels, NYC and her shop in Waitsfield, VT as well as teaching weaving for the NH League of Craftsmen, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC and the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne, NY. (#12: Free in the Saratoga Arts Gallery, all night)

Caricatures at the Lake Avenue School are created by Rich Conley, a professional caricature artist since 1988 who has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pencil.  Currently he does caricatures in both traditional and digital formats and is a proud member of the International Society of Caricature Artists. He has worked with such great groups as Albany Tulip Festival, MAAC and ECAC tournaments, Saratoga Racetrack, Gilda's House, Ronald McDonald House, Albany Conquest,Tri-City ValleyCats, State University at Albany, and Oneonta, RPI, Union, Sage, Albany College of Pharmacy, General Electric, Macy's, JC Penney, Boskovs, Albany Institute of Art and many, many more. He has also provided character design for various companies including all the design work for Saratoga Sweets.  He tries to bring a fun creative approach to any event by capturing the personality as well as well as the person. “It's important to me to make sure the people who sit for me have a fun and memorable time. My hope is that you leave with a great drawing and an even better memory.” (#6: Free at the Lake Ave School, Gym #2: 6-10pm)

Jo-Jo’s Fabulous Faces immerses your children in a world of imagination and fun with extraordinary face painting that will transform your child into a wild animal, beautiful fairy princess, or mighty super hero! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  We ensure safety standards by the use of FDA hypoallergenic high quality makeup, brushes, sponges, glitter, liquid glitter,  and gems,  to create a range of amazing artistic possibilities. We promise to put a smile on everyone's face! (Lake Avenue School, Gym # 2: 6-9:30pm)

The Heldeberg Marionettes have been performing their strolling marionette show at fairs and festivals throughout the capital district for many years. Originating at Voorheesville's Heldeberg Workshop, the show has developed a unique style of puppetry that is the icing on the cake for a moving festival event.  Audience members get to try the controls and get the feel of handling a real marionette. The puppets stroll to the sound of their own original music by Joe Hetko and look like they are just another kid at the fair, except that sometimes they are frogs!  (#6: Lake Avenue School, Gym #1: 7 & 8:30pm)

Silent Wings Raptors bring birds of prey up close courtesy of the Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York.  Owls, hawks, eagles and falcons; all have remarkable adaptations and skills for survival in the wild and all are breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating to watch!  Admired for their strength, speed and astounding grace raptors are some of the most successful hunters in the animal kingdom. Their fierce independence and tenacity has been the source of admiration for countless generations.  Learn about them, their unique behaviors and the conservation issues that impact them including natural selection and the “human” impact on species survival.  You will be able to meet the birds at the end of every demonstration. (Lake Avenue School Cafeteria, 6-8pm & 8-10pm)
The Storycrafters, Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns, PhD, have been working together since 1991, and have been storytellers for even longer than that. They  perform and teach their art form in schools, libraries, and other venues all over the US and the British Isles.   Jeri and Barry believe in the time-tested wisdom of  traditional stories, and share that wisdom with today’s audiences. They strive to honor world cultures by telling the old stories in respectful ways, often integrating the  musical instruments, songs or dances indigenous to that region. The Storycrafters have been recognized nationally and locally, from the prestigious Oppenheim Toy  Portfolio Platinum Award and Parents Choice Awards, for their storytelling recordings, to Artists of the Year in their county. Their family radio show, “Just Imagine” has been showered with awards from the NYS Broadcasters’ Association. Publishers’ Weekly describes them as ‘top-notch family entertainment.  (Presbyterian New-England Congregational Church, 6 & 7pm)
Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures is a one-man circus show that thrills with the rich and time-treasured delights of expert juggling, wacky globe walking, astounding ladder balancing, sensational plate spinning, teetering rola bolas, daring unicycle antics, mesmerizing bubble routines, mischievous magic and comic buffoonery. This interactive show aims to dazzle and delight young and old alike.  Troy Wunderle is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of art, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He is a former international performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. For the past twenty-one years, he has toured throughout the United States as a freelance performer and employee of Vermont's own Circus Smirkus. His antics have been featured on the Disney channel, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, Chronicle, Fetch, Fox and Friends and Americas Funniest Home Videos. Troy is the founder of Wunderle's Big Top Adventures and the Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus. He spent 6 years as Director of Clowning for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and is a juried artist through the Vermont State Arts Council.  (#6: Lake Avenue Elementary, Gym #2:  6, 7:30 & 9pm)


What is First Night Saratoga?

One of the oldest and largest celebrations of its kind in the country:

  • 15,000+ revelers;
  • The 5k roadrace at Skidmore College;
  • 30 venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs;
  • 70+ regional and touring acts performing live music, dance, comedy and magic from 6pm to midnight!


The most affordable, accessible, safe and exciting all-ages New Year's Eve event in the region:

  • 9,000 admission buttons priced at $20 and under;
  • Kids 12 and under are admitted for free; 
  • All venues are alcohol-free;
  • Free CDTA bus service;
  • Fireworks in Congress Park at midnight!

First Night Saratoga will be the highlight of your outgoing year!

Proceeds support the community arts programs at Saratoga Arts to help make the arts affordable and accessible to all.

site by lis design and kernel creative media