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City Shows Off On First Night

The Boston Public Library was decked out for 2010's First Night. (The Eggplant/Flickr)
The Boston Public Library was decked out for 2010's First Night. (The Eggplant/Flickr)

The city of Boston is preparing to host thousands of revelers for its annual First Night celebration. Organizers say the crowd may reach more than one million people.

As in years past, First Night will host hundreds of events in downtown Boston.

"We have 1,000 artists engaged, 200 exhibits and performances at 40 different locations," said Geri Guardino, executive director of First Night Boston.

The event has become a marquee attraction and an important holiday tradition for many city residents.

"As First Night marks its 35th year, all other cities try to replicate it," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. "Boston is still the best. It's the original. It's the most fun. And our arts community really comes together on that evening."

City leaders hope to showcase the best of Boston to ring in the new year, but also acknowledge public safety concerns.

Boston officials say revelers need to be safe while celebrating New Year's Eve. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said that there will be crackdowns on public drinking and extra police on patrol.

"You will enjoy a great and safe night, and we will be out there with a significant presence to make sure that happens," Davis said.

Transportation officials say that they are expecting heavy traffic, and with that, parking will be scarce.

"First Night is so memorable and so fun," said Thomas Tinlin, Boston's transportation commissioner. "What is not fun, but equally as memorable, is getting a parking ticket or worse, getting towed."

To service the expected crowds, the MBTA will extend service until 2 a.m. and all service around the city will be free after 8 p.m.

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This program aired on December 31, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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