While some New Year's Eve revelers treat the last day of the year as an excuse to wake up the next morning with a hangover, First Night Youngstown offers a fun, safe, family-friendly, alcohol-free environment for all ages throughout the downtown area and near Youngstown State University.
"The big misconception is why do you have to be drunk on New Year's Eve? There are a lot of people who go out to party and have a great time but then you're cutting out the families that have children and they want to enjoy their New Year's Eve, too," said Barry Silver, president of First Night Youngstown. "This way they can include their kids. They don't have sit in front of the TV set."
He added, "It's the end of one year that, hopefully, was good to them and it's the start of another one, which is even going to be better."
Amanda Beagle will sing at 7 and 9 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church.
Now in its 14th year, First Night Youngstown presents a diverse lineup of entertainment and activities at multiple venues including St. Columba Cathedral, First Presbyterian Church, Masonic Temple, YSU Planetarium and the Steel Museum.
There will be concerts by jazz, Latino, country, swing, folk, African, classical and dixieland artists; horseback rides; magicians; psychic readings and interactive activities.
Fireworks displays take place at 9 p.m. and midnight.
"There are a lot of advantages for people when there's a lot of different entertainment for everybody's different tastes."
Silver mentions positive comments he's heard in relation to returning performers including magicians, tributes to Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley impersonators and the bell ringers.
"A lot of families that I've talked to over the past few years come down strictly so the kids can go ice skating at Covelli Centre or swimming at the YMCA. It gets them all good and tired out. They watch the fireworks at 9 p.m., visit Oh WOW! The Rodger and Gloria Jones Children's Center of Science and Technology and then take the kids home. Then, the parents can get a babysitter and go out and do their own thing."
He credits First Night's Vice President Kelly Elko for setting up the entertainment so that it's within a short walking distance from each other and not far from reaching a good vantage point to watch the fireworks.
Dining options at this year's event include O'Donold's Irish Pub and Grill, V2 Wine Bar Trattoria, Joe Maxx Coffee, One Hot Cookie, Roberto's Ristorante and Los Gallos.
The admission button for this year's First Night Youngstown was designed by Richard Tauro of Niles, president of Scribblers Media Inc. It highlights a historical landmark in the downtown area, the Youngstown Parking Garage building, 23-27 W. Boardman St., on the southeast corner of West Boardman and Phelps streets. The Grey Land Gallery also occupies space in the building.
As a response to the growing dependence on automobiles, the Classical Revival-style five-story structure used steel reinforced concrete, buff brick and terra cotta winged tires and accents on its front facade. It was completed in 1926.
"I thought it was a good idea because downtown Youngstown has some really beautiful architecture," said Tauro. "So, it's nice to show a little civic pride."
He used an art deco look and type for the logo as a nod to the design style that began around the time of building's construction. It features a night scene, fireworks, the tagline "The Place To Be On New Year's Eve" and architectural elements of the parking garage.