The biggest, most inclusive New Year’s Eve party in Spokane starts at 6:00 p.m. (some kids’ activities start at 3:00 p.m.) It runs until midnight, but you won’t run out of things to do and probably will not have time to see everything you want to! Click here for a description of the dozens of performance and attractions at First Night Spokane 2013. Admission buttons are just $12 through December 30 or $15 on December 31. Kids 10 and under are free when accompanied by a button-bearing adult. Get your buttons at Cenex Zip Trip stores, the River Park Square concierge desk, Auntie’s Book Store, or Mountain West Bank. Not going to be near any of those places in the next few days? Just order online and pick up your buttons at the Spokane Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Your button gets you into all First Night events.
The evening begins with a masquerade parade at 6:10 p.m. from the Spokane Convention Center to the Riverfront Park Fountain and ends at midnight with a fireworks show that starts at 11:50 p.m. In between, there is a large variety of entertainment for everyone. As always, First Night Spokane is alcohol free and family friendly. To help you decide, here are some great choices, one for each hour counting down to 2013.
Just for Kids Pre-func: Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital Kids Night Out, 3:00–6:00 p.m.
Bring the kids to the Spokane Convention Center for three hours of fun. Activities are centered around this year’s First Night theme: Across the Universe: the Year of the U.F.O. Kids can create their favorite “Martian Marmot,” launch a rocket, get a robot hat, and put on a washable tattoo. There will be dancing, a “moon surface walk,” “space writing wall,” and music. There are even special activities just for tots 2–4 years old.
7:00 p.m.—Outrageous Wild Women Crown Making
Stop by first, or anytime throughout the evening, to decorate a personalized crown. Not just for kids! Grown-ups need to feel like royalty, too! Located in the Crescent Court, 2nd floor.
8:00 p.m.—SCC Players at the Spokane Public Library
Check out live theatre performances by the Spokane Community College Players at 7:00, 8:00, or 9:00 p.m. Last year’s show included actors performing unique folk stories from faraway lands; this year is sure to be equally interesting. While you are there, check out the photographs of Afghanistan by Casey Johnson.
9:00 p.m.—Blue Door Theatre, Convention Center Conference Theatre
Check out Spokane’s great improvisational comedy group, Blue Door Theatre. They will perform every hour all night. Every show is different because it is influenced by audience participation and random, on-the-fly ideas. Very entertaining, with jokes that require creativity rather than crudeness—it’s all clean humor.
10:00 p.m.—48 Hour Film Festival, Produced by NXNW
Each year, local film makers are invited to enter short films that must be written, filmed, and edited in just 48 hours. In case you are wondering (I was) how they prevent cheating, NXNW keeps the storyline requirements secret until the 48 hour timeline begins. Come watch the contestants’ submissions anytime throughout the night in the Spokane City Council Chambers meeting room in the lower level of City Hall. If you don’t have time to catch them during First Night, you can watch them on YouTube.
11:00 p.m.—Ice Skating and Looff Carousel Rides
End your night in the park to be close by when the fireworks begin. Your button provides free rides on the carousel and free ice skating at the Ice Palace (skate rental is not free, though). As you stroll through the park, stop at the many bonfires to warm up, or warm up by dancing to DJ music at the Riverfront Park Fountain. Visual artists will also be showing their work in the area.
Get a happy start to your night, rather than an irritating one, by choosing the easy, free parking option for First Night Spokane! Park at the Riverpoint Campus just east of downtown at 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. in the yellow lot for free. Then catch a free STA bus, which will run every 10 minutes from 3:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., to various venues of First Night. Catch a bus back at the end of your evening. Click here for a parking and shuttle service map. Easy peasy!