BOSTON The show will go on this New Year’s Eve. Boston Mayor Tom Menino says the city will rescue First Night, at least this year. The nonprofit group that runs the event announced Friday that financial constraints are forcing it to shut down.
“I’m putting a team together next week to start the planning process of how we make it happen. They’re going to turn it over to the city,” Menino said. “I hope we don’t take their liabilities. But I just want to say that we’ll have a good time on New Year’s Eve.”
Boston celebrated the country’s original First Night 37 years ago, and it’s since grown to attract about 1 million people to its arts performances, parade, ice sculptures and fireworks every year. It’s also been replicated in 200 cities around the country. But organizers say losing corporate sponsors in Boston, like Fidelity and Fleet Bank, made funding the event increasingly difficult.
We spoke with First Night’s outgoing director, Geri Guardino, as she and her colleagues packed up their downtown office. Listen to our interview with Guardino above.