Mayor Thomas M. Menino today held the city’s annual First Night public safety press conference, encouraging people to come to Boston to ring in the New Year during the 38th Annual First Night celebration. Officials from the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and the MBTA reminded revelers to celebrate the holiday safely and encouraged visitors to take advantage of public transportation when traveling through the city.
“Boston is the best place to ring in the New Year, and this year will be particularly special,” Mayor Menino said. “The amazing teamwork that has gone into planning First Night 2014 shows just how great our City is. We have the best business and cultural communities in the country, and they have worked hard with City leaders to make sure this year’s celebration is the biggest and most memorable yet.”
Mayor Menino and city officials are working closely with the MBTA to ensure that First Night Boston 2013 is a safe and fun experience for all. The MBTA will be free after 8 p.m., and visitors should expect an increased presence of public safety personnel and services, including police, fire and EMS.
City officials reminded residents and visitors of the following safety precautions:
- Families should create a meeting place and phone number to use in case someone gets lost – A lost child station will be located at the Hynes Convention Center. The Hynes Convention Center and the Boston Common will also have a medical aid station.
- Expect traffic delays in certain parts of the city
- Public drinking will not be permitted
- Do not drink and drive
- Dress warm and in layers with hats and gloves, as temperatures will drop throughout the evening
- Drink plenty of warm, non-alcoholic liquids
- Utilize the MBTA, which will be free after 8 p.m. and will run with additional service until approximately 2 a.m.
All First Night outdoor events are free, with the purchase of a First Night button. Buttons are $10 and children under four are free. The buttons are available at participating Boston-area CVS stores, Bank of America, the City Hall ToGo Truck, BosTixBooths and online at www.firstnightboston.org.
Festivities will kick off at 10 a.m., where families can visit various sites and museums around the city, such as the Boston Children’s Museum or the Old South Meeting House. The Puppet Showplace Theatre will present an all-day Puppet Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, and performances throughout the day will include Patti Smith and Her Band, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Anaïs Mitchell, Donald Harrison, and many more.
At 5:30 p.m., the Bank of America Grand Procession will begin with marching bands, puppets, inflatables, dancers, duck boats and, for the first time, the Gay Pride Parade.
Families can enjoy more than 15 ice sculptures, centered in Copley Square and located around the city. Fireworks over Boston Common at 7 p.m. will be presented by The Mugar Foundation and produced by Boston 4 Productions. Midnight Harbor Fireworks are being presented by State Street Bank.
The Boston Transportation Department is advising drivers that parking and traffic restrictions will be implemented in Downtown Boston throughout the day on Tuesday, December 31.The use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Those who must bring cars into the city should plan to park in off-street lots and garages. Additional details regarding parking restrictions can be found at: cityofboston.gov/
First Night was started in 1976 by a group of local artists who sought an alternative to traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations and has grown from a small arts event into an arts organization that showcases work by local, national and international artists. Originally drawing crowds of about 25,000 people, in recent years First Night has attracted crowds of more than 1 million people, generating nearly $47 million in revenue for businesses in the City of Boston. The First Night concept now serves as a model for approximately 200 celebrations worldwide.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY – FIRST NIGHT BOSTON
On December 31, the City of Boston will welcome the New Year with its annual First Night Celebration. To accommodate the festivities, street closures and parking bans will be in effect at various locations. Those coming into the City of Boston to join in the celebration are strongly encouraged to leave their personal cars at home and take the T. MBTA service information can be found at www.MBTA.com.
TEMPORARY STREET CLOSURES:
- Boylston Street, from Massachusetts Avenue to Tremont Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4 to 8 PM
- Charles Street, from Park Plaza to Beacon Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 5 to 8 PM
- Dartmouth Street, from St. James Avenue to Boylston Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 12 Noon to 2 AM
- Atlantic Avenue, from Milk Street to Cross Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 11:30 PM to 12:30 AM
TEMPORARY PARKING RESTRICTIONS:
“Tow Zone No Stopping Boston Police Special Event Friday through Wednesday” signs will be posted at the following locations.
- Boylston Street, Copley Square side, from opposite #585 to opposite #575
- Blagden Street, Copley Square Library side, at the first two parking meters adjacent to Dartmouth Street.
“Tow Zone No Stopping Tuesday” signs will be posted at the following locations.
- Arlington Street, both sides, from Beacon Street to Boylston Street
- Atlantic Avenue, east side, from East India Row to Commercial Street, and west side, from Commercial Wharf to Cross Street
- Beacon Street, Public Garden side, from Charles Street to Arlington Street, and, both sides, from Charles Street to Walnut Street
- Berkeley Street, both sides, from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Boylston Street, both sides, from Dalton Street to Arlington Street, north side, Public Garden side, from Arlington Street to Charles Street, and, both sides, from Charles Street to Tremont Street. (*Note the Friday through Wednesday restriction for a portion of Boylston Street as well.)
- Cambridge Street, both sides, from Court Street to Sudbury Street
- Central Street, both sides, from Old Atlantic Avenue to the Dead End
- Charles Street, Public Garden side, from Boylston Street to Beacon Street
- Clarendon Street, both sides, from Newbury Street to Boylston Street
- Court Street, both sides, from Washington Street to Cambridge Street
- Cross Street, both sides, from Atlantic Avenue to Hanover Street
- Dartmouth Street, both sides, from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Exeter Street, both sides, from Newbury Street to Boylston Street
- Fairfield Street, both sides, from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Gloucester Street, both sides, from Newbury Street to Boylston Street
- Hereford Street, both sides, from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Milk Street, both sides, from J.F.K. Surface Road to Old Atlantic Avenue
- Old Atlantic Avenue, both sides, from Milk Street to State Street
- Surface Road, both sides, from Sudbury Street to State Street