Arts & Entertainment

SOMA Planning First Night Celebration for New Year's Eve


SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Preparations are under way for a huge SOMA New Year’s Eve celebration, as First Night Maplewood South Orange returns after a two-year hiatus.

Headlining the event will be the Jersey Shore rock and roll party band, The Nerds ( along with a wide variety of entertainers and artists performing throughout the evening.  Activities and fun are planned for people of all ages.

First Night is a New Year’s Eve party held jointly for the Maplewood and South Orange communities, offering family oriented, alcohol-free activities for both adults and children.  Held at Columbia High School, 525 Academy St. Maplewood, First Night festivities will begin at 5 p.m. on December 31, 2014 and continue until 10 p.m.

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A volunteer Board comprised of residents from both Maplewood and South Orange is organizing First Night.  Funding for the event is made possible through our generous title sponsors including BCB Community Bank and Atlantic Health/Overlook Medical Center, as well as the Township of South Orange Village, the Township of Maplewood, the South Orange Maplewood School District and the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

“I am thrilled to help bring First Night back to our community,” said Michael Goldberg, President of the First Night Board. “The prior Board laid a solid foundation upon which we could re-establish the event. I am so excited to have so many new volunteers who want to bring the event back and take it to the next level.  With our generous sponsors and incredible headliner, this will be the best New Years Eve ever.”

The First Night program began in Boston in 1976 as a cap to the nation's bicentennial. The event's goal is to broaden public appreciation of the visual and performing arts while offering an alternative to the traditional New Year's Eve celebrations that typically focus on alcohol and drinking.

There are now several hundred First Night cities throughout the United States and Canada.  However, Maplewood/South Orange are the only Essex County communities to present a First Night celebration this year.

Additional details will be announced in the coming months.  To volunteer, get more information, learn ways that you can become a sponsor or purchase an ad in the program visit

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