Tacoma welcomed 2018 with First Night festival

Now that the last stocking has been put away and few strands of Christmas lights have gone unplugged, we have officially welcomed in the New Year.

Like most Washingtonians, you probably either stayed in the comfort of your own home or headed up north to party at the Space Needle. But a good handful of us hung around downtown Tacoma to ring in the New Year.

The Theater District in Tacoma hosted its 25th annual New Year’s Eve celebration of visual and performing arts, known as First Night. The event is home to the world’s shortest parade at only one block long. Showcased shows ranged from circus performances to live music and everything in between.

The party kicked off at 6 p.m. with a parade led by a large canine puppet made by Seattle artist Annett Mateo. Following the short parade was a per­formance by a Brazilian dance team while the main stage hosted live music from The Heartless Kind, Down North and many other groups throughout the night. Tully’s Coffee and many bars and restaurants even stayed open into the New Year for those who wanted to caf­feinate or drink their way into 2018.

Those who purchased a First Night button had access to many of the indoor venues, including a few museums strung along Pac Ave. This year’s festi­val featured two circus shows by Circus Circus, a youth troupe from the School of Acrobatics and New Circus along with theater performances by the Min­ion Production.

The crowd at the main stage grew larger as midnight approached. An­ticipation filled the air while the Pyro­sutra fire performers entertained the crowd with a spectacular fire perfor­mance. The Filthy FemCrops, an all-women Seattle based brass band, led the crowd to the midnight countdown, bringing in the New Year with an in­strumental version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Although there were no extravagant firework displays or con­fetti cannons, the countdown and live music was good enough for the crowd. Everyone turned to hug their fam­ilies and friends or kissed their signifi­cant other as soon as midnight struck.

“It doesn’t matter if there was fire­works or not, being with the right people to start off the New Year is all that matters,” said Joshua Hannah, UWT student.

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