Saturday, December 31, 2016


First Night had been something of a growing tradition in recent years, offering Maplewood and South Orange a chance for a fun, non-alcoholic New Year's Eve close to home.

Launched back in 1993, it was seen as a way to ring in the new year in a safe, nearby way with music, dancing, and fun events.

It's mission statement said:

First Night Maplewood South Orange was formed in 1993 to:
a) broaden and deepen the public's appreciation for the visual and performing arts through an innovative, culturally diverse and high quality program on New Year's Eve
b) to offer families and the community a shared cultural experience in Maplewood and South Orange that is accessible, affordable and drug and alcohol-free.

It first hit a roadblock in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy left many in the area in tough situations, leaving many unable to offer their time and services.

But it rebounded a few years ago with great events in 2014 and 2015. See the great Nerds performance in 2014 HERE.

This year, however, a lack of volunteers killed the event before it could even begin.

We asked past organizer Michael Goldberg what occurred. He offered this vie email: 

Back in February, we determined we did not have enough Volunteers to induce fresh ideas to First Night, so we decided not 
to continue. Hopefully, new leaders will step forth in the coming years, but for now there will be no First Night in South Orange/Maplewood.

And a look at the First Night webpage found this notice: 

After two great years, First night Maplewood South Orange is going back on hiatus and will not be back in 2016.

Let's hope enough people get together to make a First Night 2017 possible.

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