First Night Saratoga: Something for everyone

Music, comedy, kids' events and fireworks all part of the festivities
Sawyer Fredericks performs at the Glove Theatre last June.
Sawyer Fredericks performs at the Glove Theatre last June.

For the past 23 years, Saratoga Springs has celebrated in the new year with a mix of music and magic. First Night Saratoga, which is expected to bring around 15,000 attendees, starts at 6 p.m. Monday and ends just after midnight. 

This year’s event, organized by Saratoga Arts, kicks off with a 5K road race at Skidmore College and culminates with fireworks at Congress Park, marking the new year. In between, musicians and magicians will be taking to the stages all over downtown Saratoga, from City Center to the Empire State College Rotunda. Starting at 6 p.m. Sydney Worthley will be on the main stage at City Center singing original songs, followed by Professor Louie & the Crowmatix with the Woodstock Horns. Then, at 10:30 p.m., Sawyer Fredericks will perform music from his new album. He’ll also lead the countdown to the new year, along with Georgie Wonder’s Orchestra, Sirsy, and Bovine Social Club. 

When it comes to music, the City Center stage is one of many. 

“We have done our best to group complementary artists together, and so it will be possible to choose one or two venues that will provide ample entertainment throughout the night,” Saratoga Arts said in a statement. 

Those looking for roots and Americana can head to the Saratoga Springs Post Office where Mark Tolstrup and Jimmy Graham will be playing. For alternative music fans, Temple Sinai will be bringing in musicians from around the Capital Region, like Ryan Leddick Trio, Sydney Schizzano, and The Onlys. 

At NBT Bank, Big Fez & the Surfmatics, Flame and Robanic with the Caribbean Sound will be performing throughout the evening. The Lied To’s and Mike Campese, along with several other bands will be performing at the Courtyard Marriott both the Yaddo and the Canfield stages.  

For those more inclined to listen to jazz, the Hampton Inn where Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues and Deja vu Jazz will perform. Or head to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, where Hetko Siegel Syracuse, The New Edge and Michael Benedict will perform. 

The Military Museum will feature a cappella groups The Racing City and Saratoga Soundtrack. 

For younger attendees, the Children’s Museum at Saratoga will open at 4 p.m. and there will be a parade to the Lake Avenue School where kids can get their faces painted and watch the one-man circus extravaganza, featuring Troy Wunderle, the artistic director of Circus Smirkus’s Big Top tour. Arm-of-the-Sea, an award-winning theater troupe will put on a puppet show with characters ranging from 12 inches to 12 feet tall. There will also be tributes to Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash on the auditorium stage. 

Then, for those in need of a laugh, there will be plenty to entertain at the Empire State College Rotunda. Comedy Works is bringing together comedians from around the Capital Region for performances from 6 p.m. until midnight. At Saratoga Arts, the FAB the Duo will be visiting from New York City to perform an original comedy cabaret. FAB stars alongside Will Shakespeare, who directs adventures of sword fights, mistaken identities, shipwrecks, bear chases, etc.  

For those who want to do more than spectate, Kevin Richards will lead country line-dancing at the St. Peter’s Parish Center. Later on, the Saratoga Chamber Players and Tango Fusion will join together to provide dance instruction to dancers with all levels of experience. 

Throughout the evening, CDTA will provide free shuttle bus trips to various venues in downtown Saratoga Springs, as well as Skidmore College and Wilton Mall. 

Buttons (or tickets) can be purchased at Saratoga Arts, area Price Choppers, Stewarts Shops and Adirondack Trusts for $20 and under. 

For a full schedule and more information visit

Categories: Entertainment

Leave a Reply