In spite of the no alcohol rule, this is still one of the coolest city-sponsored festivals of the year. Now in its fifth year, First Night celebrates the coming New Year from a creative and artistic perspective.
Billed as "a free, inter-generationally programmed, family-friendly and alcohol-free public celebration, showcasing the unique culture of Austin through expressive, creative traditions of performing and visual arts," the festival is spread out across nearly a dozen different venues around town and provides a sober alternative for those wanting to ring in the New Year with more art and less public intoxication.
Unless you possess a functioning time machine or multi-locality, be sure to consult the festival's program to plan your evening. The program for Austin's First Night 2010 (December 31, 2009) has yet to be released, but last year's program is still available as a sample.
Check out this very well done video footage of the First Night 2008 (December 31, 2007) Parade down Congress Avenue by Sheila Scarborough - and see if you can watch the last minute or two without smiling . . .