The countdown is on to ring in the New Year with First Night Chatham. The annual event is packed with family fun, from the annual town photo at noon to the traditional Countdown Cod drop at the strike of midnight.
With non-stop fun and entertainment, this year’s event promises two fireworks displays, the return of the popular Noise Parade and at least 70 planned performers, entertaining the crowds at nearly two-dozen different venues in Chatham.
Now in its 26th year, a full lineup of performers and musical acts are on tap to lead residents and visitors into the New Year. From a jazz quartet to the restored Diamond Jubilee Organ, a poetry reading to Chinese folk art dancing, First Night Chatham promises to be bigger and better this year.
Other acts on the agenda include handbell ringers from area congregations, a bluegrass band, horse drawn wagon rides and the ballet. As well, visitors are also sure to enjoy viewing the creations of an ice sculptor and listening to some live storytelling.
The event also features several food vendors and restaurants on hand, plus free shuttle buses helping transport people throughout the day and late into the evening hours. Perhaps most anticipated of all is the annual Countdown Cod overlooking Oyster Pond.
A Cape Cod take on the traditional ball drop, Countdown Cod is what else, but an oversized metal sculpture of a fish, lowered from a crane to the delight of an expected crowd of thousands. This year participants are in for a real treat too, as a musical sing-a-long will count down to the New Year, followed up by some spectacular midnight fireworks.
With something for just about anyone, many of the events require a button for admission, though some, like the fireworks are button-free. You can purchase your button in advance online or at various locations around Chatham and the surrounding area.