First Night Fort Collins

Make plans to be Downtown on New Year’s Eve for First Night Fort Collins presented by UCHealth! This non-alcoholic, FREE, family-oriented, arts-based celebration attracts an all-ages audience to 30+ performances at 7 venues throughout Downtown. This event is produced by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association.

When: Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Event Hours: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Location: Downtown Fort Collins

Price: Free to the public

This year’s theme, “Winter Wonderland” offers opportunities to enjoy international dance, live theater and magic shows, comedy, music and singing, wandering entertainment in Old Town Square and more! 

Kids will have plenty of room to run with a “bounceland” of giant inflatables, face painters, a Kids’ Countdown in the Square that blasts off at 5:30pm, plus fireworks at 10:00pm to finish off the night!


Canyon Concert Ballet: Canyon Concert Ballet will be performing “The Country Mouse and The City Mouse”, a playful short story ballet based off the childhood book that was entirely created, set, and choreographed by and for Youth Ensemble. This ballet follows two mice who are cousins and from two completely different ways of life. Audience members will get to travel along with the country mouse as her cousin drags her on an adventure through the big city.

Choice City Singers: Discover the enchanting allure of acappella when 8 voices blend to create magically delicious harmonies together! Choice City Singers, a Fort Collins based fun and entertaining vocal ensemble, will delight your spirit with intriguing arrangements of timeless jazz, pop, rock, and doowap melodies. The entire family will find a new song to sing, a memory to treasure, and a smile to carry into the new year.

Eric West: A fun family music show with lots of silly sounds, audience participation, traditional and unusual instruments with dancing puppets.

Michael Stanwood: A concert with Michael is a journey through sound and culture, a journey filled with joy and laughter. Everyone gets involved…Michael has traveled to far corners of the earth and brought back curious and beautiful instruments, which he plays. His performance is one that every member of the family can enjoy!

Debut Theatre: Jack and the Beanstalk! But where are the actors? It’s show time and the group that was supposed to present the play phones in to say that they are enjoying First Night performances and are not going to make it! The support crew – carpenter, house manager, janitor, etc. – gather on stage to decide what to do. With the help of the audience they improvise the show! Utilizing what they find backstage, asking for help from the audience when they get stuck, and using their own unique talents, they play out the story in a fresh and fun way! Enjoyable for the entire family!

Wandering Circus Art: "An extraordinary circus arts show"

The Seers' Sing-A-Long: The Seers perform a wide variety of classic rock and family favorites from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and beyond. Pianist/vocalist Brian Collins and Guitarist/vocalist Sean Waters are both Fort Collins natives – and they love to please audiences of all ages. Song requests and sing-alongs are welcome!

Doctor Noize: Multi-instrumentalist and singer, Doctor Noize takes audiences of all ages inside the creative process with positive, high-energy, interactive shows. Featuring bold musicianship and live loop-recording technology, Doctor Noize is sure to entertain the entire family!

OpenStage: 15 Minute Christmas Carol. A hilarious abridged version of Dicken’s classic where five actors play all the roles in less than 15 minutes. If that’s not enough, they top it off with a two-minute version that will have you doubled over laughing.

Live Beyond Limit: Prepare to be dazzled and enchanted by wintry magic with Live Beyond Limit flow, dance, and acrobatic artists guaranteed to inspire and ignite the spirit!

Bryan Circus Knight: Bryan Circus Knight performs dazzling displays of danger and daring through a variety of juggling and acrobatic feats. Prepare to laugh and be amazed.

Kalama Polynesian Dancers: Professional Polynesian show by Kalama Polynesian Dancers. They will take you on a magical journey through the islands of Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, and Taniti. Audience participation is also a big part of the show so be sure to join the Kalama Polynesian Dancers at First Night!

FALE African Drum & Dance: During the cold of a Winter Wonderland in Fort Collins, Fale will transport the audience to the hot climate of West Africa. Our performance of high energy traditional drum and dance with colorful costues will have all ages clapping along with our multi-generational troupe.

Presto-Digitators: This group of magicians is a long-standing First Night tradition and is once again back at the Community of Christ Gymnasium! Featuring members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians’ local chapter, the Presto-Digitators will perform three unique shows throughout the evening. 

Stella Luce: Fort Collins band, Stella Luce will be performing their original music at Bas Bleu Theatre. Be prepared to set your intent for the upcoming year by adding your wish to our interactive sculpture during the concert (supplies will be provided). The performance will also include opportunities to play/sing along with the band. The viola fronted group will bring in the new year with their signature haunting melodies and whimsical arrangements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost anything?

This event is FREE! First Night Fort Collins is open to the public thanks to our generous supporters and sponsors. Please keep in mind that all show capacities are limited and seating will be available on a FIRST- COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. Please create a backup plan in the event a venue is at capacity.

What happens if I miss the first performance or capacity is full?

All performances occur AT LEAST twice over the course of the night. If you miss a performance or if show capacity is filled, come back later or stick around until the current show ends.  

Is this a non-alcoholic event?

Yes! This is a family-friendly and non-alcoholic event.

Will there be a firework display?

Yes! There will be a firework display visible from Civic Center Park. The Park is located just South of the Laporte Ave. & Howes St. intersection. It will not be held in Old Town Square as in previous years. Please make your way to the park after the last performance to see the firework show at 10:00pm.

Transportation & Parking

We anticipate New Year’s Eve to be a busy evening Downtown. Please plan accordingly and park in 3 available parking structures/lots. The two parking garages will be FREE all day on Saturday, December 31st.

Don’t feel like driving? Hitch a ride on the Max Bus Rapid Transit Service. This bus picks up along Mason St. between Harmony Rd. and Downtown. Ride the MAX for $1.25 per person each way. 17 & under ride free! Please visit the Max website at to see all stops and times.

Take a ride on the First Night Shuttle! There will be 3 First Night Shuttles running along the blue course below stopping at stops indicated by orange circles. The Shuttles will run every 3-5 minutes.

Interested in volunteering for this event? Follow this link to view current volunteer opportunities!

New to volunteering wtih the DBA? Follow this link to create an account!

Annual Sponsors

Event Official Sponsors

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