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Boston will have to ring in the New Year without midnight fireworks over the harbor

Ron Newman forwards e-mail from Conventures, which is running First Night this year:

There was a meeting today and the following decisions were made. The financial picture of First Night is quite reduced, and some events are not going to take place. The Grand Procession is at Copley Square, not on Boylston Street. There are not going to be midnight fireworks. There will be 7:00 pm fireworks. The Fitness walk will be a Fitness Jamboree activity on Copley Square.

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This city is really tanking. It is just getting worse and worse in every which way!

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It's just fireworks, man.

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Tell that to all the kids or the business owners that will lose hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$ because the crowd will go to some other town or city.

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the business owners that will lose hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$

How? Did they outlaw $60 covers and $8 Bud Lites too?

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This is devastating to me and my family. I had planned on a New Year's Eve soiree at Abe and Louis. But with this recent outrage, I've decided to move the affair to the Outback Steakhouse in Wilbraham, damn their eyes!

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All the kids that prefer to stay up to midnight to watch fireworks vs. watching them at 7 pm? The poor wee toddlers. I suppose they'll have to cry into their beer, I mean milk.

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Why should the public underwrite this event with hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$$ just so the business owners should make hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$.

I mean, if this is such a cash cow, why isn't there any business sector funding for it?

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For at least the last decade, there have been a large number of family-oriented performances and activities in the Hynes Convention Center, starting around 1 pm and ending in time for the Grand Procession to start at the Hynes.

And at night, there was popular music, classical music, opera, dance, and theatre at indoor venues all over Back Bay and downtown, as well as at the Hynes.

That all seems to be gone now.

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One year (2 years ago?) it was about to be cancelled altogether, and Tom Menino called in a few favors and got it funded, but that's probably not a sustainable model for the long term. I don't know why it doesn't economically support itself, but apparently it doesn't.

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Spectacles like this happen because people put in the money and the effort to make them happen. In Brazil, samba schools work through the year for their carnival performance, practicing, making costumes. Ordinary people contribute money and effort, they save through the year to put on a show and have a big old party. I suspect that the many First Night enthusiasts in Boston have largely been passive consumers of entertainment, counting on someone else to put on a show for them, and not contributing any money or effort of their own. Popular support has to take a more substantial form than "I love First Night" if events like this are to be sustained.

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We are getting a Fitness walk. A FITNESS WALK!!!!

Nobody else is doing that.

We are ahead of the curve.

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They cancelled the walk, and now it's an in-place "jamboree."

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Why no midnight fireworks, but keep the 7:00 PM fireworks? Midnight is when the new year begins, only seems right to keep those and scrap the 7:00 fireworks.

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Seriously.. think of the children.

Much of First Night is really geared toward families and kids, so the 7pm fireworks is for them. Its been a few years since I've done the First Night thing, but from my recollection, there's more people (think families) out and about at 7-8ish than at midnight (when by then, most adults are at a party or a bar or something..).

They are just spending their money on where the most spectators will be avaliable. (but yes I agree, it's a bit odd, but it does make some sense)

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I'm GUESSING here that it probably has to do with the cost of setting off the fireworks. That is the FWs crew would probably get paid time and a half or some sort of holiday pay once the clock strikes midnight

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....and ask "what time is Midnight Mass"

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Yell the countdown as the large sparkly orb descends. It used to be that you had to choose.

It might also have to do with having people out on a barge in completely frigid weather in the middle of the night ... but it is probably just that the 7pm are more beloved and centrally launched.

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I think they were added to the event for First Night 2000, originally with the explanation that they represented midnight GMT. They have always attracted a large audience --- but one reason for their popularity is that they were at the endpoint of the Grand Procession on Boylston Street. Which is not going to happen this year.

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Do the cost cuts have anything to do with the increased security requirements in our post-9/11, post-marathon world? I remember reading how the detail bill for the esplanade 4th fireworks went way up because of it.

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Requirements?

Just what are these requirements for a midnight fireworks show? I don't recall any security theater searches the past two years or 14.

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I believe this will be the first 'First Night' without midnight fireworks since it all began. So sad.

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We took a look at the offerings since FirstNightBoston.org (or whatever it was called) went under; when Menino and co announced "premium pricing" I decided not to bother. Last year looked even less appetizing -- face painting is not going to occupy a 7 year old for hours, trust me.

We went from 2009-10 to 2012-13; for us, it was all of the afternoon activities and puppet shows and crafts and dancing at the Hynes, since I had a 2-5 year old. Without those offerings, it's pretty flat, and we're better off doing something out here in my (inner) 'burb.

Without a major sponsorship to convince both artists and venues to participate, everyone's going to look for a more lucrative activity for New Year's Eve. And the City of Boston & the T are not going to want to swallow the costs if they're not going to see 500,000 or more people coming in and bringing in tax dollars and paying for fares. I don't blame them at all.

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Maybe we could have paid for it if we didn't allow these city councillors get a substantial raise

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The Grand Procession is at Copley Square, not on Boylston Street

Copley Sq is on Boylston Street...and how does one conduct a "procession" at a square? Just walk around in circles?

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They walk around in squares, silly!

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just not a World Class (TM) city! Don't even have Jack Williams for live coverage of the BPL stage anymore. This downward spiral was inevitable without Mayor Menino to twist arms to keep funding up. Such a shame...sniffle.

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and have only midnight fireworks. First Night has aged very badly, as has the Pops 4th of July.

New Years Eve is an adult holiday, anyways.

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it really sounds like there's no point in it this year. Pretty much a bland affair in copley that ends at 7pm.... I agree with the other comment - businesses are going to lose a fortune with no one in town for first night any more.

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..is we're less likely to see the term "Fist Night" tweeted by the Police.

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First Night was meant to be an alternative to drunken mayhem, fun stuff, like you can bring your kid to a ball game and the other fans don't worry you. Maybe that needs to be the focus. Let other organizations figure out how to get the later part of the evening to rock.

How about an additional goal, First Day? January 1 everything is closed, nothing to do, so get some stuff going!

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First Night 2000 ran for three days, with many of its events on 1/1/2000. It was a lot of fun, but it nearly bankrupted the organization.

This year's upcoming event was rebranded as "First Night First Day" which seemed to promise many New Year's Day activities, but now that seems to have gone by the wayside.

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I've always enjoyed being able to have a really low key NYE, while still being able to go out. Last year, GF and I just hung out and had dinner and drinks at the Littlest and wandered over to the fireworks 10 minutes before, and we were home before 1. A year later and both options are gone, and I can't help but laugh at the fact that the reason for one is so someone can make a buck, and the other is so someone can save a buck.

So, where are all these private backers who cared so much about Boston that they were willing to light money on fire and throw it at the Olympics so we can show the world how wonderful our city is? Surely at least one of them couldn't bear to stand by idly as a beloved Boston tradition goes under? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

GG Boston.

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That Boston will not put on a midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve while Baltimore will is embarassing. Boston had far more cash flowing through it. The money exists. But someone is turning on the switch to get the cash flowing.

Where are the urban Olympians who wanted Massachusetts to spend millions in infrastructure improvements for the Olympics? Is Mr. Fish telling Boston to @#$#@ itself if it expects any more cash from him for public events? The billion dollar biotech companies? The construction millionaires who are getting richer from building luxury condos for more rich people? What about the massive construction happening all over Seaport - Innovation District (so what is the name of the "new area")? Those builders will make a fortune (at least they hope). All the money between Southies and the Financial District and not a penny to highlight there own area?

Or perhaps the beautiful (and rich) people moving in to the Seaport - Innovation (whatever) District just don't want 100,000 riff raff stinking up the air around their beautiful luxury condos.

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