Bristol ready for New Year’s Eve bash

BRISTOL — The Watershed Center invites the community to celebrate New Year’s Eve in downtown Bristol as it marks the arrival of 2016 with Best Night, a gathering of friends, neighbors and some of the region’s top performing artists.
The festivities begin at 4 p.m. at Holley Hall with hat- and hula hoop-making and other kid-friendly activities. At 5 p.m., Magicians Without Borders performs for the hometown crowd followed by Mount Abraham Union High School’s a cappella group, who will host a children’s singing workshop, followed by a performance from the group. Then it’s on to the New Year with Vermont singer-songwriter Erin Cassels-Brown followed by a variety of local teens including Luke Calzini and Kiley Pratt who are “Home for the Holidays.” At 9 p.m. Jeh Kulu will lead the audience in a West African-style dance and drum performance.
At the Walkover Gallery, Encanto takes the stage at 6 p.m. as 10 singers journey through a variety of world music.   Full Circle presents a set of recorders, harp and hammered dulcimer “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” and Richard Ruane and Beth Duquette follow with vocals and instrumental originals to ring in the New Year.
Across the green at the First Baptist Church of Bristol, the festivities get under way at 5 p.m. with Dana and Sue Robinson — an Americana, roots and folk-influenced performance. Lynda Malzac and the Fractured Bones play a range of country and rock followed by Greg Ryan of “They Might Be Gypsies.” Ryan has been building and playing “gourdtars” and will play one for the Best Night audience. To finish up the night at the church, multi-instrumentalist and local singer songwriter Patrick Fitzsimmons performs with Rob Meehan on bass.
In between, hungry merrymakers can refuel on snacks and refreshments at Holley Hall and enjoy homemade soup, dinner and desserts downstairs at the First Baptist Church.
Best Night is a project of the Watershed Center, which is dedicated to building new ties between neighbors and maintaining a strong, vibrant five-town community. It’s a once-a-year opportunity to get out and celebrate the season, see good friends, and make new ones while enjoying the best of the area’s lively local arts scene. Like the diverse local people and places the Watershed Center celebrates throughout the year, there’s plenty for everyone young and old at this annual community-wide gala.
Admission is free for children younger than 12 and seniors 75 or older. Admitting buttons for everyone else are $12 at the door. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit www.bestnight.org

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