Saratoga Springs

Sawyer Fredericks opts for smaller stage at First Night

More than 79 performers slated to light up 30 venues during annual event
Saratoga Arts Director Joel Reed and artist Sharon Bolton unveil the First Night poster Tuesday during a news conference.
Saratoga Arts Director Joel Reed and artist Sharon Bolton unveil the First Night poster Tuesday during a news conference.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sawyer Fredericks, winner of 2015’s “The Voice,” will be performing on the WEXT Stage this New Year’s Eve, highlighting Saratoga Springs’ First Night celebration: “Light up the Night.”

The schedule for this year’s event has been finalized and was announced at a Tuesday news conference at Saratoga Arts. According to Alix Jones, First Night director and development associate for Saratoga Arts, Fredericks opted to perform on the WEXT Stage downstairs at Saratoga City Center, as opposed to the facility’s larger main stage upstairs.

“He wanted to play in a smaller setting, and I think he wanted to support the radio station that helped launch his career,” Jones said. “It was his decision, and we’re happy to accommodate him.”

The Shane Guerrette Band will kick things off on the WEXT Stage at 6 p.m., followed by Sydney Worthley at 8 p.m. and Fredericks at 10 p.m.

Jones expects about 15,000 people to join in the New Year’s Eve celebration that, along with music from more than 70 performers in 30 different venues, will include a 5K race at 5:30 p.m. at Skidmore College and a fireworks display in Congress Park at midnight.

The Children’s Museum at Saratoga will also offer family activities, including time capsules and the lighting of lanterns, and at the Lake Avenue School children will be able to enjoy the StarLab Planetarium, feats of bubble ingenuity by Jeff Boyer and theater from the award-winning Broken Box Mime Troupe. Children will also have the opportunity for a closeup look at reptiles, raptors and more.

The main stage will include performers who specialize in “mind art acts,” such as Boston-based Scott Jameson, a magician also known for his juggling ability and balancing skills. Jameson will start the program at 6 p.m., followed by Jon Stetson, “America’s Master Mentalist,” at 8 p.m., and Joshua Lozoff, “Life is Magic,” at 9 p.m. The final two magicians will repeat their performances later in the evening.

If laughs are what you’re looking for, some of the Capital Region’s best stand-up comedians will be at the Empire State College Rotunda. The Saratoga Storytellers will also be at Empire State College, and other event venues include the Saratoga Film Academy at the Visitors Center, the New York Military Museum and Temple Sinai.

CDTA will provide transportation in and around downtown Saratoga Springs during the festival, and children younger than 12 will be admitted to every event with no admission, if they are accompanied by adults. Buttons are on sale at a number of locations, including Saratoga Arts, Price Chopper stores, Stewart’s Shops and Adirondack Trust Company. For more information, visit

Categories: Entertainment, News, Schenectady County

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