First Night on Feed Tacoma

Dec. 31, 2009 at 8:34am

Roar into the New Year, Tonight!

Tonight's the big night, Tacoma!  There are still plenty of First Night buttons available at these local museums and merchants:

  • Broadway Center Box Office - 901 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402-4449 | (253) 591-5894
  • Glenna's Clothing - 783 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402-3709 | (253) 627-8501
  • Leroy Jewelers  -  940 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402  | (253) 272-3377
  • Museum of Glass - 1801 Dock St. Tacoma, WA 98402 | 1 866 4MUSEUM
  • Sanford & Son Antiques - 743 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402-3709 | (253) 272-0334
  • Tacoma Art Museum - 1701 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, WA 98402 | (253) 272-4258
  • Tacoma Tactical 2519 South Holgate Street Tacoma, WA 98402 | (253) 345-1471

Buy a ticket this morning and enjoy free admission all day to:

Museum of Glass
Tacoma Art Museum
Children's Museum of Tacoma

Join us this evening as we kick off the celebration at 6 PM, with a one mile fun run followed by a procession, featuring a 15 foot tiger, the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline, the Dockyard Derby Dames, and more!

Following the procession, the real fun begins at more than 15 venues throughout the theater district!  Whether you want to watch live music performances all night (including after midnight) or look for something to entertain the kids, we've got something for you.

See you there!  Park free at Tacoma Dome Garage and ride the LINK until 1:30 am.

comments [5]

Dec. 16, 2009 at 7:57am

First Night Needs Volunteers!

Nothing to do this New Year's Eve?  Volunteer with First Night!

First Night is still looking for volunteers to help with set up on December 30th and 31st, tear down on January 1st, or help the night of the event. Jobs the night of the event include checking buttons at the door, checking in artists and volunteers, keeping the coffeepot full and even wrangling giant puppets.

Sign up NOW online:

Many hands make light work.


comments [4]

Dec. 10, 2009 at 1:04pm

Tacoma's Last Mile

Dear Tacoma,  it's cold out there and we know those 6 hours a day of sunlight aren't really much motivation to pull your toes out from under your blanket and go for a run.  

This is why we ask only that you join us in one short sprint, before partying the night away.  "Tacoma's Last Mile" Fun Run is a quick mile long loop around Tacoma's Theater District.  (Sponsored by Metro Parks Tacoma) Register online and pick up your tiger mask and race number at Metro Parks headquarters.

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Dec. 7, 2009 at 7:39am

Skip Jensen's Fire Clock

Lighting Up Your New Year

We're lighting up Broadway this New Year's Eve with dream trees, paper lanterns, and a fire-powered clock with a big surprise at the midnight hour.

I stopped by Skip Jensen's workshop yesterday for a preview of the clock, currently under construction:

A bucket of fire and a bucket of rocks counterbalance each other, until the fire burns down and marks midnight with a spectacular show.  

Revelers will also have the opportunity to write down their wishes for the new year, and watch them float away into the night sky as the dream trees are lit.

We'll be conducting a dream tree workshop later this week, stay tuned for details.

comments [4]

Oct. 5, 2009 at 8:00am

First Night Nationwide: Inspiration from Other Cities

One of my favorite New Year's Day tasks is uploading my First Night pictures to Flickr and gathering all the pics I can find from celebrations around the world for the First Night Flickr group I administer.

Of course, Tacoma's party always rocks, but some of the other cities really put on an impressive show.  Austin TX in particular has some gorgeous visuals, their warm weather and large college population probably contribute to that.
First Night - Austin New Years 

One thing they do really well is set things on fire. This is the "resolution clock" from last year:

They're also masters of the group art project, like this "Dream Island" from 2008:
Zig Zag

And this massive installation of backlit frisbees:
Austin Funkadelic

Cold weather cities have it a bit tougher, but even in Vermont they managed to find a way to light up their chilly procession:
Burlington VT First Night 2008

We'd like to bring a little more heat and light into this year's festival, and we'd love to hear your suggestions.

comments [2]

Sep. 25, 2009 at 8:00am

First Night Entertainment Taking Shape

2010, Enter the Tiger

Just some of the fierce New Year's Eve 
entertainment we already have planned:

  • The Glass Museum's Mobile Hot Shop
  • We plan to blow up or burn as many things as possible. We'll let you know how that end of things is progressing.
  • Plans are in the works for a combination Black Gospel Choir and Cantor/Jewish Choir presentation. Should be unbelievably cool.

  • Our hip-hop stage producer, Quincy Henry, has just made it into the first round of Grammy nominations for a number of categories. Nice.
  • Lucas Smiraldo is collaborating with the Urban Orchestra and Speak Your Soul poets to fill a stage with music and spoken word.
  • The Tacoma City Ballet and Pearl Django are working together to fill a stage with gypsy jazz and ballet. More to follow on that one.
  • Barefoot Collective has already scouted out some sites to do a really fantastically creative interactive dance that includes the audience in both dance and choreography.
  • Angela Jossy has just taken on the task of organizing an electronica dance stage at her new Speakeasy space on Broadway.
  • And finally, the wonderful folks at Tullys are opening their venue as a stage this year.
Next time we post a list, this list should be a lot longer! Tell your friends to send their ideas now! Also needed: a metal artist to bring our Year of the Metal Tiger to artistic life, and oh..... money! It's a lean year for everyone, no point trying to hide it. If you'd like to help bring more great entertainment to downtown Tacoma this New Year's eve (or even if you just want to see some cool stuff blow up) please stop by our website and make a donation.

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Sep. 11, 2009 at 7:52pm

First Night 2010, Year of the Tiger

Ready to say goodbye to 2009?  2010 is the Year of the Tiger, an animal which symbolizes bravery and a readiness to meet all challenges with confidence that you will land on your feet.  

We at First Night Tacoma-Pierce County have decided to go ahead and ring in the Year of the Tiger before the official start of the lunar new year, with a celebration of art, life, and a little bit of bravery in downtown Tacoma's theater district this December 31st.

2010 is a "Metal Tiger" year, a year to set your sites on a challenge and see it through to the end, whatever it takes.  

We are ready to meet the tiger and hear your suggestions, as we get ready to (symbolically) kick 2009's butt and celebrate a new year for our city and region.  

We'd love to hear your feedback on this blog, as well as sign you up to volunteer

For updates, stay tuned to this blog and the First Night Tacoma Pierce County website.

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Jan. 7, 2008 at 4:24pm

2008 Photo Gallery

First round, anyway.

Check it out here, and we'd still love to hear your feedback.

Thank you to everyone who contributed photos!

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Jan. 2, 2008 at 6:25pm

First Night Feedback

Now that everyone has had a chance to get some sleep, we'd like to know what you thought.

What was your favorite thing?

What would you like to see again next year?

What would you like to see less of next year?

Any problems we should know about?

Is there a specific performer or event you'd like to see?

Would you go again?

If you ate at a downtown restaurant that night, which one?

...or anything you would like to say about it.  Have at it in the comments.

comments [8]

Jan. 1, 2008 at 12:34am

Happy New Year, Tacoma!

It's been wonderful partying with you!

Thank you to all the beautiful people of Pierce County and to everyone who came tonight, and to everyone who made First Night possible this year.

The following is not an exhaustive list:

Thank you very much...

Margaret McCormick, Shon Silvia, Kala Dralle, the Downtown Merchants, Eric Anderson, Dale & Joanna Chesnut, Sue Piotrkowski, Rich Marriott, the Washington State History Museum, the Museum of Glass, Susan Newsom, Audra Laymon, Fred Yomes, Phil Chang, the New Tacoma Neighborhood Council, Sound Transit, the School of the Arts, Mary Mabry, King's Books, Pierce Transit, Grand Cinema, Brian Trunk, Leroy Jewelers, Sanford & Son, Elizabeth Terry, Celia Holderman, Phil Ferrell, Brian F. Boyd, Julie Anderson, Mad Hat Tea Company, Dixie Sciacqua, Rachel Marecle, the Dockyard Derby Dames, Tom Ebner, Courtyard by Marriott - Tacoma Downtown, Ron Jepson, the City of Tacoma, the Kilworth Foundation, Ron Swarner, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, King 5 Television, MIXX 96.1, KUOW 94.9, the Pierce County Council, Tim Farrell, Calvin Goings, Skip Jensen, Cyndi Sorrell, Scott Painter, the Fuchs Foundation, KEXP 90.1, Mario Menconi, Melissa Moffett, Andrew Hillier, TV Tacoma, the Forest Foundation, KPLU 88.5, Tanya Andrews, the Sequoia Foundation and all of our wonderful Volunteers!

Metro Parks Staff

This year's event was made possible by the loaned event staff form Metro Parks:

Lori Crace
Joel Chang
Nancy Johnson
Lindsay Fowler

Theater District Associates Board of Directors

Board of Directors


J. Bennett Thurmon


Amanda Knowles


Alicia Lawver


Jennifer Boutell
Dale Chesnut
Charlie Douthwaite
Steph Farber
Greg Kleiner
Glenna Mathews
sweet pea
Derek Young
Julie Bennett

Proud Sponsors

City of Tacoma

The News Tribune

Metro Parks

Mixx96 FM


Sound Transit

Weekly Volcano

Leroy Jewelers

Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation

Glenna Mathews & Glenna's Clothing

Jade Mountain Bamboo

The Courtyard By Marriott - Tacoma Downtown

Friends of First Night

Friends of First Night - $1000 to $2,499

Puget Sound Revels
Belina Interiors
Glenna's Clothing
Bruce Caplan Parking
Post Industrial Press

Friends of First Night - $500 to $999

Mike and Amanda Knowles

Friends of First Night - $100 to $499

Lori Crace
Mary Lynn and Doug Edwards
Kay Nichols
Chip Shot Photography
Boutell.Com, Inc.
Andrew Fry
Laura Huntington
Rich and Monica Hurley
Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante
Sondra Purcell
BCRA, Inc. Architects
Teri Weigel
The Lucks Company
Puget Sound Pizza

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First Night is Tacoma and Pierce County's New Year's Eve festival; a family-friendly, alcohol-free, and most of all fabulously FUN celebration.

This is our blog, but you can also visit our official website at

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