First Night Home Page



FirstKids | 4-7 pm

Start your First Night activities at 4 pm when we take over the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church. First Kids has a 23-year history of fun for the entire family!

Hats and Masks | 4-7 pm

Come create crazy New Year’s party hats and masks with Sherri Lundquist. Always a First Night favorite!

Musical Petting Zoo | 4-7 pm

Musical Petting Zoo brought to you by the Second Time Arounders Band Have you always wanted to be in a band? Now you can try out your favorite Brass Band instrument. They will have their zoo of instruments for all to try.

Mad Science Shows | 4-4:30, 5-5:30 and 6-6:30 pm Sounds Like Science

In this special event children will unlock the mystery of sound using ordinary items to make spectacular noises. They will hear a pipe sing, participate in a massive sound wave, and warp an unsuspecting volunteers voice for cool special effects. Eating a “pickle” will never be the same after experiencing this exciting show.

Sea Creature Procession | 7:15 pm

Prepare for the First Night Procession to the Bubble Stomp! At 7:15 pm we will gather in front of the First United Methodist Church, and the Sea Creature Procession will march down to the Waterfront for the Bubble Stomp and the First Fireworks. Don’t miss our Sea Creature Puppets which were built with the Morean Center for Clay Summer Campers! They are amazing! One of the Rowdies players and the Mt Zion Drumline and Color Guard will lead the Procession. The Mt. Zion group teaches individuals ages 7-21 about the positive effect music can have in your life.

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First Night Jazz | 7:15-11:30pm

Downtown Trio and special guests | 7:15-8:30 pm

The Downtown Trio consists of David Pate, saxophones, and piano, Michael Ross, bass and John Jenkins, drums. These old friends have been performing high energy jazz for over 30 years. Mixing jazz standards and original compositions, the trio has performed at many jazz festivals and special concerts at many venues and clubs. The First Night performance will also feature very talented and future stars. Kendrick McAllister, tenor sax , Jason Downtown Trio Charos, trumpet, Cori J. Daniels, tenor sax, all of whom are high school students of the jazz program at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School.

Fred Johnson Quartet | 9-9:45 and 10:15-11:00 pm

Jazz and world music singer and percussionist Fred Johnson is an accomplished musician who has toured with the likes of B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Chick Corea and Miles Davis. Fred Johnson He’s been in St. Pete since coming here 38 years ago to perform at the Hurricane Restaurant. They will be playing jazz classics.

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54th Avenue South Jazz Combo | 6-6:45 pm

The 54th Ave. South Jazz Combo is a 6 piece outfit culled from the larger award-winning Jazz Band of Lakewood High School in South St. Petersburg, FL. Just this past March 2016, the LHS Jazz Band travelled to and competed in the Crescent City Music Festival in New Orleans taking first place honors! They love to play a wide variety of jazz charts from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock and Trombone Shorty, to name a few. The plan for Spring 2018 is a trip to Harlem to play at the famed Apollo Theater.

St. Petersburg City Theatre Academy | 7-7:30 pm and 8-8:30 pm

This group of young people will be singing Motown songs to entertain and delight the audience. They encourage hand clapping to the beat and hope many toes will be tapping to the music.

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620 1ST AVE. S.
Keep St. Pete Lit and Calusa Press:

Lighting up the New Year with Poetry! | 6-9 pm

Join 10 local poets as they ring in the new year with lyric illumination. The evening is curated by the local literary arts organization, Keep St. Pete Lit. Receive a hand-letterpressed art print by Calusa Press, featuring a ten word poem by each participating poet. 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00

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280 5TH ST. N

Puppet shows Masks and Hats at the Library | 4-8 pm

We will present a Puppet Show at 5:00 pm and repeat it at 6:00 pm on the main floor of the Mirror Lake Library (in the Children’s Department).  Between the shows there will be a make-and-take New Year’s themed Craft activity – the participants will make and decorate their choice of a hat or mask.  The show is “First Night Surprise: Pirate Pauly and the New Year’s Treasure.”

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330 5TH N

American Stage Improv | 6-10 pm

American Stage Improv performs at First Night St. Pete! Improvisation brings us live, impromptu scenes and stories with performers trained in “finding the funny”. Discover unique, hilarious ideas, and some crazy fun times! Ring in the new year with American Stage Improv House Teams: As Per Usual, and Separate Checks. Plus, a bonus performance for all ages that combines professional performers and our youth improv troupe! 6pm-6:40pm: Improv for the whole family! (all ages) 7pm-7:40pm: As Per Usual (adult content) 8pm-8:40pm: Separate Checks (adult content) 9pm-10pm: House Team Improv Mash-Up (adult content)

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401 5TH ST N

Chorus Angelorum 7-7:30 and 8-8:30 pm Chorus Angelorum is an outstanding a cappella vocal ensemble of male and female voices, offering fine quality performances of vocal music to the Tampa Bay area. Their repertoire includes pieces from the Middle Ages to contemporary and popular styles. The group performs works by composers from Thomas Morley and Giovanni Gabrielli, to Bach, Mozart, Bruckner and Mendelssohn. Contemporary composers include Eric Whitacre, and Ola Gjeilo as well as the works of Paul McCartney, Peter Townsend, and Paul Simon. Pipe Organ Celebration 7:30-8 and 8:30 -9 pm Thomas Hall, organist Canzona Terza - Girolamo Frescobaldi Toccata in E Minor - Nicolaus Bruhns Toccata, Villancico, y Fuga - Alberto Ginastera Two New Year Chorales from the Orgelbuchlein - Johann Sebastian Bach I - The Old Year Now Has Passed Away II - In Thee is Gladness

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401 5TH ST N

Kids Tamborine Making | 5-7 pm

JOYFUL NOISES! Kids of all ages are invited to participate in this hands-on craft activity.  Make and decorate your very own tambourine so you can make joyful noises all evening long!

Cory Van Valin Magic Redefined | 7-7:30 and 8-8:30 pm

Through Cory Van Valin’s comedic lines mixed with intense magic effects, you will be left laughing hysterically one moment, and then bewildered in amazement the next.

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Opera in the Cathedral | 7:00pm and 9:00 pm.

St Petersburg Opera Company will present a program of everyone’s favorite opera arias in the beautiful sanctuary.  The program will be narrated by Artistic Director, Mark Sforzini, and selections will include tantalizing tunes by Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Emmanuel Chabrier. Featured performers include reigning St. Pete Opera Idol , Christina Franco, soprano Susan Hellman Spatafora, pianist Mun-Tzung Wong, and bassoonist Mark Sforzini, among others.

Chamber Music in the Cathedral | 8:00pm and 10:00 pm

Chamber musicians from The Florida Orchestra and Tampa Bay Symphony will join St. Petersburg Opera in presenting works by Gioachino Rossini, Robert Schumann, and Mark Sforzini. For a truly grand finale, Maestro Sforzini will lead the ensemble in a riveting performance of a favorite New Year’s Eve waltz by Johann Strauss.

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Duke Energy presents the Williams Park Dance Stage | 6:30-10 pm Truth Tap Company | 6:30-7 pm

Truth Tap Company is an elite tap company that originated out of St. Petersburg and is run by Ruth Martin who is the founder and owner of the company. Members in the company are Ashlyn Bolton, Kyla Feld, Melody Geiger, Gabbi Crane, Emma Meyers, Kayla Cowart and Ruth Martin. They have a few numbers to perform and share their passion through. Tap is our life!

Cakewalk | 7-7:15 pm

A nostalgic ballet that looks back to St. Petersburg’s Williams Park in1915…a time when families had picnics in the park on Sunday afternoons, children giggled, young people sparked and everyone listened to the latest music played from the Band Shell.

9:00 9:30

A Moving Influence Dance Company | 7:15-7:30 pm

This new Bay area dance company will be showcasing contemporary dance. with two performances of modern techniques from our senior company and one hip hop choreography from our Jr company. Don’t miss this group’s first performance at First Night!

St. Petersburg Folk Ensemble | 8:30-9:00 and 10-10:30 pm

An eclectic variety of lively Russian Folk Dances to traditional Russian Music becomes a New Year’s Eve tribute to St. Petersburg’s Russian connection. From the Georgian “Lezginka” to the stately “Birch Trees” to the familiar “Trepak” from Nutcracker, the audience will travel through several regions of Russia as the dancers ranging in age from 7-27 dance under the stars.

Dundu Dole | 7:30-8:15 and 9:15-10 pm

Dundu Dole Urban African Ballet is a First Night favorite, their high energy and colorful costumes are just the start of why this is one of Tampa Bay’s premier dance companies. Don’t miss their amazing dance show!

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111 2ND AVE. NE

THE ALE AND THE WITCH PRESENTS: WAHHH! | 8-8:45, 9:15-10, 10:30–11:15pm

Trailblazers of a unique and multiform sound, ‘WAHH!’ is rooted in India’s rich Traditional musical culture and enveloped in an artful weave of Jazz, Rock and Funk. ‘WAHH!’ is a quickly rising and unique ‘East- West’World Fusion Band that is based out of the Tampa Bay area. It boasts all original songs that feature Indian style Music with a modern, contemporary approach. Uniquely captivating ‘Vocal Percussion’ and Indian Raga flavors weave with Jazz, Rock and Funk Music to create a dynamic and one-of-a-kind sound. ‘WAHH!’ is high-energy, audience interactive and totally unique.

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Duncan McCellan Glass–Glass blowing Demonstrations | 7-11 pm

Join us for live glass blowing in the Park! See the glow oft glass as the artists pull it out of the fiery kiln and shape it. The glass artists from Duncan McClellon Glass will be making unique and beautiful glass art. Don’t miss this fascinating display of hot glass artistry.

Bloom Art Center presents: Night Blooming: A Hands-On Art Experience | 8-11:30 pm

Get messy with artists from St. Petersburg’s Bloom Art Center and learn about prints and painting through fun, hands-on activities for all ages. Create make-and-take monoprints, paintings, and stencil art with guidance from the Bloom Cru, and bring home original art to commemorate your time at First Night. Not feeling crafty? Sit for an Extreme Portrait, and one of our character artists will sketch your likeness in mere minutes.

Massages in the Park | 6-11 pm

Take a break and come get a quick chair massage under the tent in South Straub Park. $12 for a 10 minute massage, $6 for each additional 5 minutes. $20 for a 15 minute foot massage. Provided by Haven Massage & Associates of Tampa

Tattoo Parlor | 7-11:30 pm

Get a limited edition temporary tattoo of this year’s First Night artwork designed by Local artist Coralette Damme.

The Bucket Show | 7-11:30 pm

The bucket drummer is back with his amazing rhythms. Enjoy the show and put some money in his hat!

Jonah the Wandering Magician | 7-11:30 pm

Jonah will be strolling the waterfront parks showing some great sleight-of.hand and card tricks. Keep your eye out for him and don’t forget to put some bills in his tip jar!

NOMADstudio Art Bus | 7-11 pm

Come paint the Art Bus!  They will have Bus Painting and other children’s art activities. NOMADstudio (Neighborhood-Oriented Mobile Art & Design Studio) has a mission rooted in the belief that art-making, as a form of human expression, is for all people and that all people should have access to resources enabling them to participate in the experience of making art. It is NOMAD’s intention to help those who do not have access get it and they do this by taking to the streets, tools and supplies in hand, in order to bring the art-making experience to the people, ALL people. Follow the NOMAD Art Bus on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter, and visit them at

St. Petersburg Sustainability Council – Love Notes to a Live Oak | 7-11 pm

Participants of all ages will create leaves, papers, good wishes, and love notes to hang on the Live Oak.

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Sylvia Rusche State Farm insurance Agency presents: Little Latin Quarter | 8-11:30 pm


Simone Amaral is one of Tampa Bay’s leading dance instructors. Tonight you can join her and DJ Manny to freshen up your step or learn the basic bachata and salsa dance. Simone Salsa will be offering 30 minute lessons in Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Salsa, and Bachata with dancing in between. People are welcome to bring percussion instruments and play along. Lesson schedule: 8:00 Salsa, 8:45 Bachata, 9:30 Cha Cha Cha, 10:15 Merengue, 11:00 Salsa

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Pathfinder Tree Climb and Rope Bracelets | 5-11 pm

Scale the heights of the Banyan Tree with Pathfinder as your guide. Sign up early and learn to tie some cool knots into a bracelet while you wait.

The Society of Friends Resolution Labyrinth and Bonfire | 7-11:30pm

Presented by the Society of Friends this interactive First Night experience is a long time First Night favorite. Come walk the Labyrinth and make a prayer for the community and burn it in the Bonfire to start the New Year with a promise to yourself or the Community!

Kick it with The Rowdies at First Night | 6-9 pm

The Rowdies will be kicking it in the Park with the inflatable soccer field. Players will be there to meet fans and sign autographs. Check out the activities and giveaways. Spin the Wheel to see what you can win!

Human Foosball | 6-11 pm

Try your soccer skills in our oversized foosball court. Form a team and join the fun!

Glice Winter Skating | 7-11:30 pm

Who says you can’t ice skate in Florida? Glide into the New Year on a realistic ice skating rink! BYOS (Bring Your Own Socks) and wear your First Night admission button!

Bubble Stomp | 7:45-7:55 pm

Don’t be late because the crowd loves this one! We will stomp the Bubbles when the Giant Sea Creature Procession arrives from the FirstKids. It’s great fun but it doesn’t last long!

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AARP TAMPA BAY PRESENTS: Uncle John’s Band | 6-9 pm

As the Southeast’s premier Grateful Dead tribute experience, Uncle John’s Band has kept the fire aglow for fans since 1989. At the recent 2015 fifty-year Uncle John’s Band anniversary reunion of the Grateful Dead at Soldier Field in Chicago, Uncle John’s Band had the honor of playing 3 afternoon shows at the Field Museum adjacent to Soldier Field. Formed in 1989 by a group of talented musicians in Clearwater FL, UJB has played thousands of hours of Grateful Dead music from Chicago to Key West.

Gumbi Ortiz and New Groove City | 9:30 pm - Midnight

Gumbi Ortiz is known around the world for his knowledge of rhythm and percussion. He has been an integral player  for 30 years in AL DiMeola’s band.  He is a session player, local musical star  and teacher with his local group the Latino Project made up of talented young musicians and his band New Groove City.  He is back from a tour of Europe, he and New Groove City will be featured on our Finale Stage.  Come dance in the grass to his amazing Latin sounds!

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Giving Tree Drumming will be here with their fabulous drums. Come join the circle and make some musical magic!

Resolution Fire Sculpture | 8-11:30 pm

Local artists and designers Funktionhouse Urban Lumber and Furnishings will be building a Resolution Fire Sculpture this year. Come write your resolution on paper, wood or fabric and help construct the sculpture. We will be lighting it up it at 11:30 pm!

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The excitement will start at 8pm with our traditional First Fireworks display. Make sure you have the best spot in the park for the Firework Finale at midnight…. you will not want to miss this year’s final KABOOM! FOOD AND DRINKS There will be food and drinks for sale in South Straub Park and North Straub Park.

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