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First Night Buffalo goes virtual for safe celebration in pandemic era

First Night Buffalo

New Year's Eve is sure to be celebrated differently around the world this year, but organizations in Buffalo are doing what they can to keep a family-friendly tradition alive amid the pandemic.

The annual New Year’s Eve event, First Night Buffalo, will be celebrated virtually for the first time as “First Night Buffalo at Home!”

Hosted by the Independent Health and Children’s Hospital foundations, the event typically brings crowds of up to 5,000 to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

The virtual event continues First Night’s mission of offering families an affordable, drug- and alcohol-free way to celebrate New Year’s, according to Dr. Michael Cropp, president of Independent Health.

“The new year presents the opportunity to make commitments to improving our personal health. First Night Buffalo is a great place to celebrate that fresh start,” said Cropp.

This year’s event lineup features free virtual entertainment, including crafts, comedy, and music performances. First Night Buffalo is also partnering with Tops to provide family party packs of supplies to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home.

“I’m really proud of participating in an event that allows our families to celebrate the turn of 2020 to 2021, particularly in a year like this when we’re all looking forward to a better year ahead of us,” said Allegra Jaros, president of Oishei Children’s Hospital.

“We have great hope for health and happiness in 2021.”

More information on First Night Buffalo at Home is available at firstnightbuffalo.org.

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