Bright Night Providence Celebrates First Night of the New Year

Bright Night Providence to Celebrate Third New Year's Eve.

This will be the third year that Bright Night has brought dozens of performances, fireworks and other hallmarks of the holiday to downtown Providence. Before 2003, the celebration was First Night Providence. When the organization realized that it lacked the funds to continue the show, a consortium of area performers and artists, led by Adam Gertsacov, stepped in to organize an alternative—a smaller-scaled, but still exciting and family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration for Providence.

Gertsacov, who has since become Bright Night's director, was dressed in a dramatic
purple topcoat and top hat for yesterday's press conference at the Providence Children's Museum. He introduced Mayor David Cicilline to a small crowd of reporters and performers in the Water Ways exhibit room of the museum.

"It's great to have this opportunity to highlight the artists of Bright Night who help to showcase the city," Cicilline said. "Last year, more than 60 performances took place in the downtown neighborhood thanks to Bright Night."

Providing comic relief at the press conference, a couple of human puppets of the popular Big Nazo troupe cavorted for the crowd after the mayor's comments.

Then Gertsacov highlighted some of the performances and events scheduled for this years New Year's Eve, including a first-time-in-Providence performance by Chainsaw Juggling Ballet of a show called "Passing Zone" at the Performing Arts Center. There will also be two fireworks displays, one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at midnight, both from the State House area and visible from the downtown arts venues.

This year more than ever, Gertsacov said, family is the focus, "with something for everyone to do all day Saturday from noon on."

There will also be an emphasis on music, with performances by folk groups including Atwater Donnelly, for the the first time at Bright Night. The Providence Mandolin Orchestra will perform two sets. A Bright Night Blues Bash will feature music by such groups as the Superchief Trio (formerly the Smoking Jackets), and Dave Howard and the High Rollers. There will also be a New Year's presentation of WaterFire, the bonfire display on the city's rivers.

Tickets to Bright Night are sold for $10 as bracelets if purchased in advance, and $15 on Dec. 31. They are available through ArtTixRI.com, as well as at all branches of Bank RI, Eastside Marketplace, and OOP! Stores in Providence Place and on Thayer Street.

For more information on Bright Night and the 2005-2006 performers visit the event's Web site at www.brightnight.org

Bright Night Providence Celebrates First Night of the New Year