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Winter 2000

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Campus gets jazzed for First Night

First Night Saratoga 2000 poster


Art Design by Ambrosino Design
Illustration by Sharon Dwyer Bruce

At Skidmore, the midyear winter break means a cold, dark, nearly silent campus–or does it? This year, crowds of New Year’s revelers, families and children, music and art lovers, and performers galore set the campus aglow and abuzz for one night, as the fourth annual First Night Saratoga celebration spilled beyond downtown to encompass eight performance spaces at Skidmore.

Throughout New Year’s Eve, the Nickel and Dime Players, harpsichord- ist Robert Conant, jazz musicians Nick Brignola and Rick Dellaratta, Blues Noir, singer-songwriter Kim Buckley, the Lise Winne and Jason Kessler duo, and the Mop and Bucket improvisational troupe gave multiple performances in venues from Filene Recital Hall and Bernhard Theater to the dining hall and the auxiliary gym. Ten buses shuttled up and down Broadway so that First Nighters could bop between downtown and campus to catch all their favorite shows. In fact, the campus was jumping as early as 5:30 p.m., when the unseasonably balmy weather drew more than 500 participants for a 5K footrace that looped around campus and North Broadway.

Coordinators of First Night Saratoga were delighted to be able to spread to Skidmore this year. As the celebration has grown since 1996, it’s drawn more visitors (15,000-plus this year) and more participating artists (about 600, either on stages, strolling the streets, or using storefront window displays). Having booked up all the likely spaces in town –from schools and churches to Canfield Casino, the library, the armory, and other buildings–organizers turned to Skidmore for help. Many Skidmore faculty and staff have always taken part in the volunteer corps that runs First Night, so this year some of them donated their technical, logistical, and cleanup labor on familiar campus turf.

RELATED LINK:

First Night Saratoga

 

 

A program of the city’s YMCA, First Night Saratoga has become the premier New Year’s event in the region. Like some 200 other First Nights in communities all across the U.S. (organized under the auspices of First Night International), it’s a nonalcoholic, family-friendly, arts-centered, public New Year’s Eve party. Corporate sponsors and community volunteers help keep the ticket price affordable: for one fee, visitors get access to any and all displays and performances, all evening long, all around town.

Finally, at the stroke of midnight, a giant fireworks show, set off from behind City Hall, lit up the sky over Saratoga. And as the last bursts and flashes faded to black, the Skidmore campus quietly slipped back into its accustomed winter dormancy–until a few weeks later, when students and faculty returned from vacation, flipped on the lights, cranked up the volume, and revved up the second semester. –SR

 


© 2000 Skidmore College