Board Pulls Plug on 2012 First Night Celebration for South Orange/Maplewood

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – First Night will not be celebrated in South Orange on New Year’s Eve this year.

After 20 years, the event’s board of directors for First Night decided to go on hiatus this year.

Sandra Dick, secretary of First Night, said, “With a board much reduced in numbers, we were unable to commit the time and energy needed this year.”

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First Night, a family-friendly alternative for New Year’s Eve, relies heavily on volunteer resources to enable it to produce a full-scale event. Last year, Maplewood/South Orange hosted legendary folk singer Livingston Taylor and a circus.

Dick noted that the two communities have provided an evening of arts and entertainment that over the years supported local artists as well as unusual talent from all over New Jersey and from out-of-state.

Dick said she does not know of any other groups planning an event for Dec. 31 in the Maplewood/South Orange community. The retiring members of the board of directors are hopeful someone will step up to continue the drug- and alcohol-free night of music, dancing and drama.

“We have had a few responses to join the board of First Night, and are hoping that the enthusiasm will enable a group to again plan a First Night event next year,” Dick said.

Anyone interested in joining the board of directors for First Night  should email Dick at  The retiring board members said they will offer their advice and experience to anyone who is interested in a board member position.

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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