Cold temps can't freeze out the fun of First Night - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cold temps can't freeze out the fun of First Night

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Burlington's Church Street was bustling as thousands of people welcomed in the New Year Tuesday. 

This year marks the 31st annual First Night celebration in the Queen City. Organizers say they have been planning for the New Year's Eve festivities for a year, but couldn't predict the frigid temps.

"I would say it's really cold," said First Night participant Nash Nora.

Cousins Nash and Amelia say they didn't want to let the cold weather freeze their fun. Even these young First Night-goers say the key to enjoying the day and evening of events is to bundle up.

"I have a lot of layers on. I have a sweater under here, and a sweatshirt, and a big jacket," Amelia Robinson said.

"I have a neck warmer, and I have… Oh yeah, I have a bunch of layers -- a jacket, a coat, and a long sleeve," Nash said.

Organizers say despite the cold temps, First Night traffic was steady and many performances were packed to capacity.

As people waited to hear the bells ring in the start of 2014, many Church Street visitors said there were plenty of other sounds they were excited to hear.

"French-Canadian music, or French-American music, and some rock music, and some percussion and marimba-- there are a lot of varieties. It's really very good," said First Night participant Andrew Taylor.

Organizers say this year, First Night welcomed many new performances to the festivities.

"There are 113 performances in 19 venues scheduled today – a third of those were new. And it's exciting because it's a central part of First Night's mission to really expose our community to emerging artists," said Ton Ayres, the executive director of First Night.

Ayres says they were worried about people staying home to beat the cold temps but said the turnout was incredible. Many of the families who bundled up and headed out say it was worth it.

"It's a cold night, but you kind of forget about the cold, because it seems that everyone's just having a great time, and it seems like a fun safe place to be," said First Night participant Ilene Robinson. 

Organizers say it will take about a week to get a final tally of First Night participants, so they won't know until then if the party took a hit because of the cold weather.

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