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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: January 1, 2018

Ring in the New Year at First Night Buffalo

First Night 2017 Press Conference

Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined the Independent Health Foundation as they previewed First Night® Buffalo, the ultimate drug- and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration. The event will be held from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

“It's almost time to wave goodbye to 2017 and say hello to 2018 and First Night Buffalo is a great, responsible way for revelers to ring in the new year,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown.  “I thank the Independent Health Foundation for its continued commitment to this alcohol- and drug-free New Year’s Eve celebration that has become a memorable tradition for so many families, providing city residents and visitors with a wonderful event to help start off the New Year on a good, positive note.”

“Independent Health is pleased to again to support First Night Buffalo, a mainstay event in our region, which engages our community in healthy, fun and safe activities to ring in the New Year,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Independent Health. “It is my hope First Night Buffalo will continue reminding families they are strong, resilient and able to overcome barriers to make the choice to live their healthiest lives, one of the best decisions they can make as we enter a new year. Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers who make this outstanding event possible.”

“We love knowing First Night has become an annual tradition for many families and we enjoy seeing them come back each year,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation. “We are always pleased to continue presenting this fun and affordable event for the community to enjoy and begin a healthy, happy New Year.”

Mayor Brown, The Independent Health Foundation and its partners gave a sneak peak of this year’s lineup at a media event Tuesday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The annual holiday family tradition, now in its 29th year in downtown Buffalo, offers safe, family-friendly activities for all ages to ring in the New Year with rides and amusements. New attractions this year include Kilted Colin, Shemika Charles – the Limbo Queen. Popular returning attractions include Hybrid Fitness – Ninja Warrior Academy, Jeff Musial – The Animal Guy, the Bubble Black Light Dance Party, drum line DownBeat Percussion (you may also recognize them as the Buffalo Bills Stampede), the Toddler Zone, and Storybook Characters. Returning after a several year hiatus, The Red Trouser Show brought to you by Canisius Golden Griffins.

To cap off the event, at 9:30 p.m. there will be a special performance by Cailtin Koch, followed by a confetti countdown and balloon drop.

As part of its 25th anniversary, the Independent Health Foundation will be launching its Future is Bright Project at First Night Buffalo, which will focus on remarkable children and their ability to successfully adapt and overcome life’s challenges to lead healthy and happy lives. This project will create community awareness, with a goal of providing all children in our region with the necessary services and support to become resilient. The Future is Bright Project is in partnership with local students participating in Leaders in Training, a WNY United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse program and is supported by World Connect, an international non-for-profit organization committed to advancing equity, progress and peace. An art installation will be created at First Night Buffalo to showcase how being resilient helps you overcome challenges and obstacles. It will also encourage individuals to reflect on the importance of providing all children with the support to become resilient.

Tickets are now on sale exclusively at Tickets are $10 through Dec. 15 and will be $12 starting Dec. 16 up until the day of the event. Tickets will be available at the door the day of event for $15. Tickets include all rides, attractions and activities. Children ages 2-years-old and under are free.

Free parking is available for attendees at the Fernbach and Main Place Mall parking ramps, thanks to the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, Buffalo Board of Parking and Mayor Brown.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the First Night Buffalo website at, or call (716) 635-4959. Visit us on Facebook at to see frequent updates on this year’s lineup.

First Night Buffalo is presented by the Independent Health Foundation and sponsored by WKBW-TV Channel 7, Independent Health, The Buffalo News, and Lamar.

Established in 1992, the Independent Health Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of Western New York residents through awareness, prevention, education and other programs focused on community health priorities. For more information on the Foundation’s activities, visit 

Media Contact: Stephanie Brown| | (716) 635-4931 w | (716) 361-8188.

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