The Burlington New Year’s Eve celebration is a favorite for many in the Green Mountain State.

Highlight, the name of the New Year’s Celebration in Burlington, has been going strong for five years. The event was previously called First Night but was changed in 2018. The event is run by Burlington City Arts. This is the first year the event will be fully in-person since before the pandemic.

“We are really looking forward to getting back,” says Zach Williamson — the Festival Director of Burlington City Arts.

The festival director is expecting up to 6,000 people to show up.

“We really focus on presenting Vermont’s artists and giving them an awesome platform to perform on in new year’s eve,” Williamson says.

Through the Bright Ideas Project, Highlight takes ideas from community members and fund their projects. One project will be an installation consisting of old television sets that will showcase performances from previous New Year’s events in Burlington dating back all the way to 1984.

During a time where folks turn the page, bright idea artist Myles Jewell believes New Year’s gives folks a chance to reflect on years past.

“We’re always reflecting at what the past held and what’s going to happen in the future,” says Myles Jewell. “To be able to throw it back all the way to ’84 is a nice reflection point.”

For the kids, the fun will begin at 2pm on Saturday where they can go to the Circus Smirkus at the Contois Auditorium. Or if they want a good laugh, the Vermont Comedy Club will be putting on shows. Puppeteers will also be on full display at the Echo Leahy Center. Burlington’s Waterfront Park will have live music starting at that time as well.

The Foam Brewery General Manager says they’ve been preparing.

“New Year’s Eve is always busy for us,” says Mackenzie Bearup. “Always like a big crowd. We have a couple of decorations up [and we] got the beer ready got the batched cocktail.”

Ticket are 12$ for adults and free for kids five years or younger.

The Queen City New Year’s Eve celebration will wrap up at the Burlington Waterfront Park with fireworks. The celebration will kick off around 8pm rain or shine.