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Committee busy in last month before First Night

December 8, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Final preparations are under way and the countdown has begun for First Night Canfield. This year’s event will see the return of two New Year’s Eve favorites as well as a new venue to bring everyone together at Old North Baptist Church for the big finale.

“We didn’t have the cabaret theater last year and people said they want it back,” said Barb Smith, First Night Canfield’s executive director. “We also brought back the fireworks.”

Smith, who took over as executive director this year, said First Night Canfield received two grants earlier this year from the Ohio Arts Council in Columbus. One grant was for $1,528 and another for $1,434. Smith said the grants help wrap up the 2010 event and gave a small jump start for this year.

The funds help cover the youth programs as well as the cost of putting on the event. As in past years, Canfield is the only First Night event in the country to offer free admittance to youth 18 and under.

“It is only because the community supports us that we are able to do that,” Smith said.

The youth, or teen performances will all take place at St. Michael Church. Other venues include the middle school, Presbyterian Church, A La Cart Catering, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Canfield Presbyterian Church and Old North Church.

The schedule will end at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve at all venues except Old North Church. Smith said the idea is to bring everyone together at one location for the return of the fireworks display.

“Pyrotecnico will be putting on the display at Township Park, next to Old North,” Smith said.

For the Cabaret event that will feature two shows, Canfield native and professional performer Sarah McGraw will perform.

The final detail for this year’s event was the button design. The buttons, which have become collectables for some, will feature a child’s face with the Canfield Gazebo.

“The theme is 'Through a Child’s Eyes',” Smith said. “It goes well for a family-oriented event.”

The committee is hoping to pass last year’s numbers of 2,500 participants. Smith also noted that shuttle service will also be provided using Canfield School buses.


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