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Guide to First Night Boston

In this 2008 file photo, people watched the fireworks erupt over the Boston Common during the First Night festivities.David Kamerman/Globe Staff

Planning on attending First Night festivities on New Year’s Eve? Here’s a look at how to get there, what to do, and where to go.


New Year’s Eve

The MBTA will operate subway service until 2 a.m. on Thursday, and will not collect fares after 8 p.m.

The system is running modified weekday schedules on the Red, Green, Orange, and Blue lines. The Silver Line will operate on a normal weekday schedule. Buses will run on a regular weekday schedule.

Most commuter rail lines will operate on a modified weekday schedule. See the MBTA’s website for more details.

New Year’s Day


MBTA service will operate on a Sunday schedule on New Year’s Day. Ferry service to Hingham, Hull, and Charlestown will not operate.


Dartmouth Street: Closed from St. James Avenue to Boylston Street, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Boylston Street: Closed from Exeter Street to Tremont Street, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Charles Street: Closed from Park Plaza to Beacon Street, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Altantic Avenue: Closed from Milk Street to Cross Street, 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.


Regular parking meter fees are in effect on New Year’s Eve, according to the city of Boston, which encourages First Night visitors to utilize the MBTA.

The city is also implementing parking restrictions on a number of streets in downtown Boston on Thursday and Friday for First Night festivities. A full list of affected streets is available on the city of Boston’s website.


Two fireworks displays will take place on New Year’s Eve. Head to Boston Common for the family-friendly fireworks event at 7 p.m.

Fireworks will also be set off over Boston Harbor at midnight.


See the full First Night Boston schedule at the event website.

Ice sculptures

More than a dozen ice sculptures will be displayed along Boston’s waterfront as part of Winter on the Waterfront. Four will be on display at Faneuil Hall, and the remaining eight will be scattered across Charlestown, the Seaport, East Boston, and downtown Boston. See the event website for full location information.



The People’s Procession to Boston Common will march from Copley Square to Boston Common beginning at 6 p.m., and will feature a marching band, large puppets, and a dragon.

Live music

The Boston Saxophone Quartet will perform at noon at Copley Place.

The Boston Waist Drum Troupe will perform in Copley Square at 1:45 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Amanda McCarthy will perform in Copley Square at 2:05 p.m.

The Boston Synchrony Chinese Percussion Ensemble will perform in Copley Square at 3:55 p.m.

Musician Joe Dias will perform at 5 p.m. in Copley Square.

Brass and percussion artists perform in the Pipes and Pops Concert at 6:30 and 8 p.m. at Old South Church.

The following acts will all perform in Copley Square:

Paa Seck Diery Band performs at 8 p.m.

Local funk/pop band Ripe performs at 8:25 p.m.

Christian O’Connor performs at 9:30 p.m.

Country music trio Restless Road performs at 9:45 p.m.

Hard rock band Conundrum Nine performs at 10 p.m.

The Weekend Riot performs at 10:30 p.m.

’70s-inspired rock band The House on Cliff performs at 11 p.m.

Ripe returns to Copley Square to countdown to midnight at 11:30 p.m.