Celebrate New Year’s Eve with music, dance and entertainment at the second annual Middnight on Main festival in downtown Middletown.
Taking place on Dec. 31, from 3 p.m. to 12 midnight, the celebration features more than 100 shows spanning four blocks of historic Main Street, with a rooftop fireworks show and a countdown to 2013.
The Middnight planning committee has announced the event schedule and discount prices for early bird purchases online through Thanksgiving at www.Middnight.org. Through Nov. 22, the website offers a savings of $4 per button off the regular prices of $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 2-12.
Middnight will feature folk singer Dar Williams, a graduate of Wesleyan University, who was described in The New Yorker as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.” Lead performers also include PBS Kids star SteveSongs in the afternoon, and The Grand Slambovians, a psychedelic roots rock band sometimes called a “hillbilly Pink Floyd.”
“The idea of the event is to bring everyone downtown to celebrate their hopes for 2013”, said Mark Masselli, president/CEO of presenting sponsor Community Health Center.
“It’s a night to try new things, be with your family and friends and just enjoy all that our downtown has to offer. Bring an appetite! In addition to all the great restaurants, we’ve also recruited a dozen gourmet food trucks that will be located on Green Street for the night.”
At 6 p.m., all are welcome to watch the dinnertime rooftop fireworks show, which is sponsored by Centerplan Companies. During the fireworks, Main Street will be closed briefly to allow everyone to gather in front of the restored Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski building at 505 Main.
At midnight, there will be a public countdown to 2013 with Japanese Taiko drums and church bells.
Last year, several thousand spectators watched the fireworks, filling the center of downtown. “I can’t wait to see how many come out this time,” said Bob Landino, Centerplan’s Chief Executive Officer.
From Grand Street to Court Street, more than 20 venues will offer Middnight events, in churches, performance halls and storefronts. Lucy McMillan, Middnight’s event coordinator noted, “There are dozens of musical performances, ranging from kids’ music, to indie rock, afro-pop, Irish, Americana, and international acts like Taiko drumming and Indian classical music.
"There are two venues devoted to dance, one for lessons and the other with great bands playing Cajun, surfer rock and R&B music for dancing. Other entertainment includes a show by a world freestyle Frisbee champion, plus juggling, magic and comedy hypnosis.
"There are talks on Hollywood movies and old radio — in fact, there are two venues with film, including a showing of a film noir feature by a famous director who was born here in Middletown 101 years ago.“
The schedule is rounded out with activities like face painting, roller-skating, hands-on art projects and an official speed chess tournament.
Most of the venues require the purchase of a Middnight button, which participants wear throughout the night. The buttons will be on sale at several downtown locations starting on the day after Thanksgiving, but discounted buttons are available now online at www.Middnight.org.
McMillan noted that the event is a huge volunteer effort in Middletown. “We recruit more than 200 volunteers who earn a free button by taking a three-hour shift, and we could never do it without them. We’d like to invite folks to go to our website to sign up to volunteer.“
The second Middnight on Main has drawn a broad list of sponsors, including presenting sponsor Community Health Center, Inc., platinum sponsors Centerplan Companies and the City of Middletown, gold sponsor Pratt & Whitney, and bronze sponsors Wesleyan University and the Downtown Business District. More than 20 other companies have contributed to the event, as well as dozens of partner organizations and downtown venues.
For information, visit www.Middnight.org or call (860) 638-2013.