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'First Night' marks 29th year in downtown Buffalo for families

Photo from First Night 2016

Even though temperatures are expected to be in the single digits Sunday - families can still get out and celebrate New Year's Eve in comfort. The community is invited to the 29th annual First Night celebration inside the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The annual event is hosted by the Independent Health Foundation. First Night executive director Carrie Meyer said there will be carnival rides and live entertainment.  

“We have bounce houses, carnival rides, a lot of carnival food as well – we do have healthy food – we’re with Independent Health, so we want to make sure the kids and families have healthy choices, but downstairs we have so many different acts and shows,” Meyer remarked.

Meyer noted it's the ultimate drug-and-alcohol-free New Year's Eve event under one roof.

“We have comedians, we have the animal guy, and we have acrobats, lots of performers, dancers, music. We actual have a room that we are turning into a little disco for the kids – it’s a black light party with bubbles,” Meyers remarked.

Along with the amusement rides there are storybook characters. Meyer said this year's event includes a special performance by Nashville-based artist Caitlin Koch.

“She actually was on the X-Factor back in the day and she’s local here, from Buffalo, so we have her doing our finale – so we have a finale that starts at 9:30 p.m. so we do a mini-countdown to the New Year for the kiddies and we have a balloon drop and confetti cannons that shot off after she performs,” Meyer explained.  

Credit Photo from First Night 2016
First Night 2016 balloon drop for kids.

Tickets for the drug-and-alcohol-free event can be purchased online at "First Night Buffalo" - or at the door. She says free parking's available at the Fernbach and Main Place Mall ramps.

First Night runs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. New Year's Eve. 

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