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Ring in the New Year with First Night® Knoxville


Ring in the New Year with First Night® Knoxville, an exciting all-ages celebration of the arts held at a dozen venues in vibrant downtown Knoxville. Now in its fourth year, First Night® Knoxville presents entertainment by some of the best singers, musicians, artists and dancers East Tennessee has to offer.

"There's truly something for everyone," says John Craig, president of the Market Square District Association. "Whether you live in the Knoxville area or are visiting from out of town, First Night® Knoxville is a great way to spend New Year's Eve with friends and family."

Following the "Home for the Holidays" theme, First Night® will be the scene of multiple reunions of artists who once called Knoxville home. Mark Lamb‹acclaimed dancer, choreographer and founder of Circle Modern Dance‹and beloved singer-songwriter Jodie Manross both live in New York City, but they return this year to perform with an array of special guests. This year's festival also hosts a reunion of Sara Schwabe and the Yankee Jass Band, bringing together vocalist Sara Schwabe of Arizona and Phil Pollard of Virginia for a dose of swing music. Nashville-based singer-songwriter Louise Mosrie lived in Knoxville when she started writing songs. Last year she won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition.

Asheville's Runaway Circus is back by popular demand, as is Knoxville's own improv comedy troupe Einstein Simplified.

Festivities begin early with the Children's Festival, from 3:15 to 6:30 p.m. at the East Tennessee History Center, featuring music, puppets, face-painting and arts activities.

Live entertainment continues at 7:15 p.m. in various downtown venues with a wide selection of singer-songwriters, modern dance, jazzy crooners, Americana bands, international acts, circus performers, hip-hop/spoken word artists and more. In addition, the works of local painters will be displayed in several of the venues.

The night concludes with a countdown to midnight, ball drop and fireworks in Market Square!

First Night® Admission Buttons are only $15 in advance, $20 on the day of, a cost-efficient way to experience every exhilarating minute of this unique New Year's Eve celebration! Buttons go on sale December 1 at several Market Square businesses, Pilot locations and online at

First Night® is a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year¹s Eve community celebration of the arts. The celebration began in Boston in 1976 and has grown to an event that attracts hundreds of thousands of celebrants each year. Since then the event has expanded to over 100 cities in 30 states across the country, as well as internationally into Canada and New Zealand.

The Market Square District Association held its inaugural New Year¹s Eve celebration in 2007 to great success. In 2008, the event expanded to multiple venues throughout downtown, and 2009's festival welcomed visitors from eight states. Thousands are expected to christen the New Year at First Night® Knoxville!

Published December 7, 2010

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