Saturday, December 3, 2011

Middnight Buzz

With Thanksgiving behind us, and December upon us, the buzz is starting to build about Middletown's first New Year's Eve festival -- Middnight on Main.

For those of us who've been working on the event since last January, it's nice to see!

In case you've missed the news, Middnight on Main is a family-friendly day of performances and activities up and down Main Street, from 3 pm to midnight on December 31, 2011. With the purchase of a Middnight button, you can choose from over 100 shows, which will be presented at *indoor* venues like bank lobbies, churches and downtown stages. There will be rooftop fireworks at 6 pm and a drum-playing and bell-ringing countdown to 2012 at midnight.

It's a little hard to sum up the entertainment: it ranges from fringe films to choral music, with all kinds of music, dance, comedy and fun for both adults and kids - and even teenagers, as I'm not sure who else will be at the wizard rock band we've got scheduled. It's not all performances - both Kidcity and the Middletown Roller Rink will be open to button-wearers, and there are lots of unusual events, like speed chess, speed dating, winter-themed cooking demonstrations, and a cozy chat sesssion for fans of WNPR.

The event spans both the North and South ends of Main Street, i.e. St. Vincent's is hosting a ping pong tournament, and there will be a giant ice sculpture demonstration in front of Citizens Bank. With two shuttle buses running up and down Main all afternoon and evening (and free parking at all the downtown lots, including the Middlesex Garage), we hope that folks will find it easy to get around.

There are a dizzying number of people working on this event, from both arts and business organizations. In these final weeks, please forgive us if we answer texts in the middle of a conversation, or if we shout out "wait, I forgot to hang the banner!" just when you were telling us about your day. If you want to earn our undying and eternal gratitude, please consider taking a 3-hour volunteer shift during the event itself. In addition to making us happy, you'll earn a free Middnight button so you can enjoy the festivities when you're not helping out.

Last night, I made my first appearance on Bill Wilson's cable access show, "The Variety Hour" to talk about the Middnight performers. I brought a ridiculously huge map showing the Middnight venues, which Bill was nice enough to put right in front of us as we chatted. Until now, I'd really only interacted with Bill and his co-host Jon Pulino in the comments section of this blog - I found that we had this in common: a decidedly nerdy passion for Middletown. English teacher Pulino noted that we've spelled Middnight with 2 D's - cause this celebration is not just about 12 midnight - it's about Middletown!

But don't take my word for it! Go to the website,, to see what's on the schedule - I guarantee you'll see at least a few things you'd enjoy! And if you don't, let me know so we can get a jump on next year.

Hope to see you at Middnight!

Middnight buttons for sale at New England Emporium, Kidcity Children's Museum, It's Only Natural Market, and the Middlesex Chamber, as well as at


Anonymous said...

What is the price of a button?

Jen Alexander said...

Oops - I didn't mention the Button prices ($10 for kids and $16 for grownups until 12/25) or the sponsors (the main ones are Community Health Center, Pratt & Whitney, and Centerplan) but there's more info on all that on the website,

Anonymous said...

Why is there a charge to get in? Hartford does not charge for their First Night Celebration. It should be free like other events that are held in Middletown like the car show and motorcycle mania.

Anonymous said...

First Night in Hartford is not free. It's cheaper ($10 for adults, $2 for kids) but it's not free.

Jamie Mills said...

We are so excited to have a New Year's Eve celebration here in our town. Thanks for all your work Jen and all of the other folks who are making this happen.

Anonymous said...

Hey - this is such a great idea - our family moved into town about two years ago - very cool
Also our kids wanted fireworks this summer - thanks