Press & Media Coverage

Following are some of the

many write-ups covering

First Night Sandwich

2013 and 2014

Yearly countdown a parade of light and sound

SEE CREATURES - You’ll want to see these sea creatures at First Night Sandwich’s Bioluminescence Parade. Volunteer parade coordinator Ron Vinciguerra created these lovelies with Sandwich High School students.  Sandwich will ring in the new year with lights, live entertainment and plenty of local pizzazz.


The second annual First Night Sandwich, a non-alcoholic family and community celebration of the arts and culture, will usher in 2014 on Dec. 31 with festivities running from 4 to 9 p.m. at indoor and outdoor venues throughout the historic village.

“It's all about arts, and people love the arts,” said Melinda Gallant, the event's co-chair. This year's theme, “Light Up the Town,” will be highlighted by a “green” march dubbed the Bio-Luminescence Parade. Main Street will be illuminated by festive lights and lanterns and a Fairy Light Garden at the Daniel Webster Inn will be brightened by twinkling lights.


“It's all about arts, and people love the arts,” said Melinda Gallant, the event's co-chair. This year's theme, “Light Up the Town,” will be highlighted by a “green” march dubbed the Bio-Luminescence Parade. Main Street will be illuminated by festive lights and lanterns and a Fairy Light Garden at the Daniel Webster Inn will be brightened by twinkling lights.

                                                                            ................................... Read more

New Year's Eve celebrations on Cape Cod


December 26, 2013

There is no more festive way to celebrate New Year's Eve than a First Night-style celebration and this year, there are three townwide events to choose from in Sandwich, Chatham and on Nantucket. These events — and Nantucket's lasts more than the one night — all offer a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration focused on the arts.


Each local extravaganza has its own flavor, and each continues to grow each year, offering a wide variety of events for many tastes. Websites list details on the different activities, performers and schedules, so those are good starting points for planning how to ring out 2013 and welcome the New Year.


For details on the five days of activities on Nantucket, please see our Pick of the Week feature on page 8. If you plan to stay on the Cape Cod side of the ocean, here are some tips on choosing which town to spend the last night of the year:




Activities for First Night Sandwich will be held around the downtown, and while you need to purchase a button to get into some of the performances, you can enjoy festivities without one.


"We're telling people to make a plan," she says. "Go online, see who's performing and then decide where you want to go." And without a button, "you can just be part of the festivities because a lot of the stuff is open air." Among those: ice sculptors, street performers and food vendors set up around town.   ........................... Read more

First Night Sandwich becomes a new Cape Cod nonprofit

Published on Friday, August 23, 2013


Sometimes it takes a vision to illuminate the way forward. Riding on the coattails of a successful First Night Sandwich, December 31, 2012, Melinda Gallant, Paula Johnson and Neila Neary, have incorporated the artistic and cultural New Year’s event into a nonprofit corporation. Last year’s celebration that saw some 4,000 people gather in Sandwich to take part in a magical festival that transformed the quintessential Cape Cod village into an enchanting setting for friends, family and the community. It was a revelation to all three of the organizers and they knew this was a cultural celebration that could grow! This year, the newly formed organization will have a new logo, new ideas to make the celebration better, and a desire to make the evening even more magical then last year’s inaugural First Night Celebration.   ........................... Read more

First Night Sandwich 2014

Posted by Jan Preus on December 2, 2013

Light Up The Town, the second annual First Night Sandwich will be held on December 31, 2013 and is a community celebration of the arts and the arrival of 2014. Cape Cod visual and performing artists bring their talents to indoor and outdoor venues throughout Historic Town Hall Square. They are joined by food vendors and revelers to create a family-friendly celebration of the new year. First Night Sandwich is part of First Night, Inc which includes more than celebrations around the globe.


Townspeople, and visitors are invited to participate in the festivities. If last year’s celebration is a predictor of what this year’s celebration will be like, you should not miss this fun-for-the-whole-family event.In celebration of this year’s theme, “Light Up The Town”, the entire village will be twinkling. All of the outdoor events and activities are free. A collectible button can be purchased that will gain you admittance to all of the indoor events and exhibitions. The buttons are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 – 12. You are encouraged to purchase your buttons early. They are available online at First Night Sandwich and from MoMo’s Food Emporium in East Sandwich, and Stop & Shop, Cape Cod Five, and Splash Stationers in Sandwich.     .................Read more

First Night revival planned in Sandwich


July 23, 2012

SANDWICH — Coming off a 16-year hiatus, two local women who organized First Night Cape Cod in the 1990s are planning a New Year's celebration for the town of Sandwich.


Neila Neary and Melinda Gallant said they realized in February that there wasn't a First Night celebration convenient to the Upper Cape; the only ones nearby are in Boston and Chatham.


They wanted to change that.


The women have applied to the Boston-based national headquarters, First Night USA, to hold an official First Night Sandwich. Because Sandwich is less than 50 miles from Chatham, headquarters made sure First Night Chatham was OK with the other celebration, said Geri Guardino, First Night USA executive director.


Susan West, Chatham First Night publicist, said the committee was happy to hear of Sandwich's developing plans.


"The feeling was that Chatham and Sandwich are really in two different areas, and that there is probably enough room for everyone," West said. "It will create a synergy that will be good for all the communities."


After Chatham "gave their blessing" for Sandwich's celebration, the women began working with headquarters on budgeting and vision, Guardino said.


Guardino said she felt confident in the pair's ability.


"We've been having lots of conversations. I'm sure they'll be able to do it," Guardino said.


And if anyone is able to "do it," it would probably be them, she said.Neary and Gallant, with the help of radio personality Dick Golden, helped create First Night Cape Cod in the 1990s.


With the help of the Cape Cod Arts Foundation, they organized celebrations in Falmouth, Hyannis, Orleans and Provincetown from 1991 to 1994.


After years of leadership, they hoped to pass the torch to the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the regional nonprofit arts agency. But the foundation couldn't take on the project and only Chatham First Night, which had been independently organized by local residents in 1991, continued.


"It's a lot of work, especially in four towns, and a lot of accountability," said Gallant, who lives in Sandwich. "The Arts Foundation was going to take it on, but it was a bit much.


"But after more than a decade, the pair feel up to the challenge again, said Neary, the owner of Momo's Food Emporium in Sandwich.


They have teamed up with the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce and Sandwich Community Television, and plans to ring in 2013 are well under way, Gallant said.


The women hope to make First Night Sandwich "family-friendly," hosting numerous fine arts events around town from 4 to 9 p.m. New Year's Eve, allowing people to celebrate at midnight as they choose.


Around $15,000 is needed for the event, most of which will be raised by button sales, Gallant said. The buttons, which will give people access to all events, will cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.


Gallant said she and Neary hope to find the "one thing" that will make


First Night Sandwich its own special event."


Chatham does really wonderful things; it's very iconoclastic," she said."Sandwich is a town with a lot of cultural roots, and we want to showcase that."

First Night Sandwich 2013

Festivals & Special

Events Monday, December 31, 2012 - 4:00pm - 9:00pm



First Night Sandwich 2013 will be held on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2012, from 4 – 9 pm.The celebration is the coming together of residents, visitors, artists and businesses for a fun, diverse and safe New Year’s Eve.


Highlights include a non-alcoholic Family Festival of multi-cultural activities with mask making workshops, puppeteers, storytellers, face painting, magicians and more; a vibrant Mardi Gras like procession down Main Street with costumed revelers and spectators will start at 6 pm, and a Grand Finale Countdown extravaganza at the conclusion of the evening’s festivities.    ............................ Read more