Fireworks will again be a part of the plan for this year’s Port Townsend First Night celebration Sunday night. (Jefferson County Historical Society)

Fireworks will again be a part of the plan for this year’s Port Townsend First Night celebration Sunday night. (Jefferson County Historical Society)

First Night 2018 celebration to welcome new year in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend’s First Night year-end festival of arts and entertainment will celebrate with square dancing, film, live theater as well as live raptors, crafts, artwork and fireworks.

The special night will be downtown from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, concluding with an anchor-raising — timed to coincide with the East Coast’s midnight ball drop —and fireworks show at Memorial Field, 550 Washington St., with viewing on Madison Street between Water and Washington streets.

This is the 12th year for the celebration in Port Townsend.

Spread out across venues downtown, the celebration features alcohol-free events for children and adults.

“First Night is for everyone,” said Chris Prescott, president of the Jefferson County Historical Society, which hosts the annual festival.

“It has something for families, singles and couples of all ages.”

Admission to First Night events is by a pass purchased each year. Teens and children are admitted free.

Adults can purchase their passes online before Monday for $8 at

On Monday night, they’ll be $10 each. A First Night ticket booth will be set up at the corner of Water and Madison streets.

Those who those who buy First Night passes will receive free admission to the 7 p.m. to 8:30 performance of “The Year of Magical Thinking,” a one-woman show at the Key City Playhouse, 419 Washington St. Limited seating is available so those who want to see the show are urged to get in line for it early.

All First Night activities are within walking distance of one another.

After the fireworks show, which is early in the evening for New Year’s Eve, those who crave more celebration can go out and enjoy themselves while those who don’t want to stay up late can just relax into the new year.

Games, films music, displays and other events will keep all entertained, according to Bill Tenant, executive director of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

The featured artist this year is Mike Biskup who will be showing his work and making new work at the Bishop Victorian Hotel at 714 Washington St., during the evening,

Signed posters will be for sale at hotel as well as at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History at 540 Water St.

The anchor that will be dropped was designed and created by local artist Thaddeus Jurczynski. It’s made from bamboo and is illuminated with LEDs.

First held in Boston in 1975 as a celebration of the arts and cultural heritage, First Night has become an alternate way to celebrate on the last night of the year.

More than 200 cities and towns in 30 states have held First Night events at indoor and outside venues, focusing on family programming with a non-alcohol policy.

First Night programs are locally produced and financed but all have an emphasis on alcohol-free fun.

Volunteers for the event get a free pass to use or give to a friend. To help send out 2018 with a bang, email [email protected]

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., these events are scheduled at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History:

• Port Townsend Film Festival film shorts, Theater Gallery.

• Face painting, Wishes In a Bottle Craft Project with the Port Townsend High School InterAct Club, Men’s Jail.

• History Scavenger Hunt with the PTHS InterAct Club, Fire Hall.

• Science Experiment Display with the PTHS InterAct Club, Marshall’s Office.• Karaoke with Louie’s World, City Council chambers.

• Photo booth, Ferguson Gallery.

• 2019 Predictions, Women’s Jail Cell.

During the same period of time, these activities are set throughout the downtown:

• Discovery Bay Live Raptor Show at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St.

• Square dancing with Janolyn Keller in the Pope Marine Building, Water and Madison streets

• Art exhibition with Mike Biskup at the Bishop Victorian Hotel.

• Crafting button blankets at the Jefferson Community School, 280 Quincy St.

• Hot drinks for sale at the Pope Marine Plaza.

For information, see

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