For most people, New Year’s Eve is a chance to run wild one last time before their New Year’s resolutions kick in, and for others, it is just a chance to run.
The First Night Saratoga 5K Thursday evening was for those who preferred the latter.
“It’s just so much fun,” said Alice Carpenter of Delmar. “It’s the atmosphere, and it’s New Year’s.”
Her friend, Nancy Johnston of Ballston Lake, who was decked out in festive red and green, added, “And people are all dressed up with lights.”
Jess Zlotnick and Kayla Mason, both from Troy, sported Christmas lights around their necks for the occasion. The two decided to run the race this year to keep with tradition.
“It’s more unique,” Mason said of the annual New Year’s Eve 5K. “It’s at night, and we have a thing where we like to run races on holidays. We’ve done Fourth of July at the Firecracker Fourth in Saratoga, and we always do the Turkey Trot in Troy. We wanted to do the Easter one, but we couldn’t.”
The race kicked off the night of activities, which included musicians, comedians and magicians.
Brianne Morse of Boston began her night watching local magician Steven Brundage at Empire State College.
“It was really cool that was the first one we just saw, said Morse. “I had no idea how he did any of his tricks. We’re going to see the past life expert next.”
Morse and her boyfriend also planned to check out the Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus and Brass & Blues.
At The Saratoga Springs Post Office, Rich Conley drew a caricature of Austen Hart and her sister Camden Hart, both from Saratoga, with their friend Chloe Leroux next to the Eiffel Tower in honor of Leroux’s home country.
“We came early,” said Austen Hart. “We’ve seen a lot of people,”
Some of the musicians featured included the headlining band NRBQ, Jim Gaudet & The Railroad Boys, Harold Ford, The Spirit of Johnny Cash, The North & South Dakotas, Sirsy, Opera Saratoga, Mournin’ Dave, Yankee Holler, JV and The Cutters, and MaryLeigh Roohan.
Musicians were also scattered across Broadway playing in store windows like musical mannequins.
A crowd of 50 gathered outside Lifestyles of Saratoga to hear Seina Shirakura play the fiddle. The set included a performance of the song ‘Let It Go’ from the Disney Movie Frozen.
The events ran throughout downtown Saratoga Springs, and CDTA buses carried revelers to and from their destinations, which included The Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga Hilton Broadway, Lake Avenue School and Caffe Lena, along with other venues.
The cold weather did not hinder any New Year’s enthusiasm, and revelers walked down Broadway with noise makers and hats in preparation for midnight.
“I just like the community,” Hart said. “The feeling of everyone together.”
Reach Gazette reporter Michaela Kilgallen at 395-3040, [email protected] or @michaelakilg on Twitter.