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First Night Missoula Celebrates its 20th Year on New Year’s Eve [AUDIO]

1st Night
photo courtesy of Missoula Cultural Council

First Night Missoula will be celebrating it’s 20th year on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, and the alcohol-free, family friendly celebration continues to be a community favorite.

The Missoula Cultural Council is the force behind the First Night event, and program director Matt Anglen described the purpose of the celebration.

“It’s a New Year’s Eve festival focusing on local artists and performers,” Anglen said. “The festival runs from noon to midnight and we have about 90 different activities happening all over town in about 30 different venues. It’s just really a lot of fun. It’s a family-friendly event and no alcohol is provided at any of the venues, so you can get a break from the craziness of downtown.”

Music is the biggest part of First Night, and Anglen said there’s something for every musical taste.

“We have a number of different acts, whether you’re into jazz, blues, rock, and we even have a couple of young punk bands, just kind of a mix of musical styles,” Anglen said. “The grand finale is always the Ed Norton Big Band and the Drum Brothers performing at the University Center as we all ring in the new year.”

The fun starts at noon at Southgate Mall, with an event just for children.

“We kick it off at Southgate Mall with a hat parade, so kids can come and make a hat and parade around the mall,” Anglen said. “From there, we move downtown and at the university, and the whole thing wraps up with a parade leading everyone to the University Center for the big finale.”

Anglen said buttons for the event are available all over Missoula.

“It’s only $15 for a button if you buy it ahead of time, and that will pretty much get you into everything at the festival,” Anglen said. “They are available on our website, or you can find them around town. A lot of grocery stores and local businesses will be selling them. You can also buy them at our office here at the Missoula Cultural Council at 327 east Broadway.”

Missoula Cultural Council Program Director David Anglen

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