Burlington gears up for massive New Year’s Eve celebration

Local News

BURLINGTON, Vt. – For the second year, the Queen City is preparing a full slate of New Year’s Eve festivities as the Highlight celebration gets underway.

With activities ranging from ice skating to circus acts, you’ll want to take a look at the Highlight website before heading out with friends and family.

Zach Williamson, director of Highlight, has had his hands full in preparation for the 40 – yes, 40 – different events, but this year the community had an expanded role in deciding them.

“We had a lot more time to talk to the community and inspire ideas of celebrations across town,” Williamson said. “Through that crowdsourcing of programming, we get a much deeper look at authentic celebrations for the community.”

There’s seven event categories: kids, music, theater, night, comedy, art and food/bar. Things get started at 10 am and run through midnight.

Some ‘highlights’ include a ‘Noon Year’s Eve’ event at the Fletcher Free Library designed for children ages 5 and under; 23 different musical performances; a waterfront firework show and bonfire; and a 1920s-themed party at the Echo Center.

Celebrants will also have the opportunity to experience New Year’s in other countries and cultures with ‘Around the World in the O.N.E’, a family-friendly event that showcases traditional dance and music from Asia, Europe and Africa. Community members who once lived on the other side of the globe will help bring the performances to life.

“By doing events like this, we’re getting people to mix together and realize how much they can appreciate and get from each other,” said April Werner, executive director of Vermont Performing Arts League.

Shuttles will run all day for the event, each route meeting near Waterfront Park. If you don’t want to park downtown, the shuttles travel to off-site parking at either the Doubletree Hotel on Williston Road or at the Miller Center on Lake Street.

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