WEEKEND: Port Townsend throws First Night of family fun

PORT TOWNSEND — First Night means a lot of things to a lot of people. And in this arts- and sea-loving town, the night leading to 2012 means live performances, craft projects, at least four kinds of dancing and, to put an exclamation point on it, a fireworks show and the raising of a lighted anchor.

This year is the fifth annual First Night, with family-friendly, alcohol-free activities downtown from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is by donation; $5 per person or $10 per family is suggested.

Passes for the event are available in advance at the event’s main presenter, the Jefferson County Historical Museum at 250 Madison St., or revelers can pick them up in the lobby of the new Port Townsend City Hall building on New Year’s Eve.

More information is available at 360-385-1003 or www.JCHSmuseum.org.

Just about everything happens inside Port Townsend City Hall or at nearby venues such as Elevated Ice Cream.

The 9 p.m. climax, to coincide with the midnight ball drop in New York City’s Times Square, combines fireworks with that big anchor sculpture to be hoisted over Memorial Field at Washington and Madison streets.


Here’s an outline of how the evening will unfold.

At City Hall, 540 Water St.:

■ Shady Grove Old Folks Band — 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

■ PT Songlines Community Chorus Sing-along — 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

■ “Dream for 2012” Dreamcatcher interactive art project — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

■ “Exploring Hands” drawing exhibit by Port Townsend High School students — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the Hildt Room.

■ Hands-on “History Hunt” game — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the courtroom gallery.

■ Lap-steel oldies with Larry Jones — 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the fire hall.

■ Screenings of Port Townsend Film Festival shorts including “On the Rise,” “Bring Me Sunshine,” “Mr. Happy Man” and “On Assignment Jimmy Chin” — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the theater gallery.

■ Cupcake walk — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the old marshal’s office.

■ Children’s games — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the jail cells.

■ “History Is” short videos from Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in the women’s jail.

At Key City Playhouse, 419 Washington St.:

■ Best of PT Shorts literary readings by local actors — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At the Cotton Building, 607 Water St.:

■ Storytelling for younger children presented by Key City Public Theatre — 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

■ Puppet Theatrical by Thaddeus Jurczynski & Co. — 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At Jefferson Community School, 280 Quincy St.:

■ Native American button blanket art project open to all, alongside the Native American Educational Trunk display — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At the Boiler Room, 711 Water St.:

■ Music by DJ Dresden, dancing and winter paper craft projects — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At Elevated Ice Cream, 631 Water St.:

■ Music by the Airstream Traveler band, plus face-painting — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At the Pope Marine Building, Water and Madison streets:

■ Square, line, round and folk dancing — 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

At Memorial Field, 550 Washington St.:

■ Fireworks display and raising of the First Night anchor by sculptor Thaddeus Jurczynski — 9 p.m.

Also for New Year’s Eve revelers and those working that night, Jefferson Transit will provide free rides on its No. 11 Port Townsend Shuttle and No. 6 Tri-Area Loop buses from 8 p.m. until 2:55 a.m.

For details on where and when to catch those buses, visit www.JeffersonTransit.com.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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