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First Night Monterey 2023


The most creative New Year's Eve you will have with your family!

The First Act for the Young and Young-at-Heart kicks off on Pacific Street and Colton Hall at 3:00 pm, and features the Twilight Parade at 5:30 pm on Alvarado Street which serves as the Kids' Finale. Music, song, dance, art creating, hat making and more! Check out the fun activities to complete your artful time. Make sure to have your FNM button - admission to all the indoor fun for the over-5 set! Outdoor activities and performances are free to all. Return to this site in late December for a complete listing of Activities!

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

Pacific Street Stage

3:00 PM

First Night Monterey 2023 opens with a traditional blessing by Yaocuauhtli Danza Cultural. Using dance, music, flowers and incense as part of Aztec cultural practices, they begin the opening of the Celebration with a traditional Aztec blessing. As we reflect on our past year, the ceremony presents opportunities to pause and look ahead to the new year. Please join us, bringing us together as we open First Night Monterey 2024!

Twilight Procession

Twilight Procession

Site: Alvarado Street, from Franklin Street to Pearl Street

5:30 PM

Join us as we process down Alvarado Street from Franklin Street towards Pearl Street. The Procession starts at 5:30PM. First Night Monterey is first and foremost about community, so we hope you will join us in the Twilight Procession as we feature, artists, dancers, giant puppets, marching moms and many other local friends and neighbors. Procession route begins at Franklin Street down Alvarado Street (wrong way) towards Pearl.


Bubble Stomp

Bubble Stomp!

Site 3: Pacific Street Art Space

3:30—5:00 PM (Free Activity)

Pop! Pop! Pop! Who can resist squishing and twisting bubble wrap? Jump, hop, stomp, do the electric slide or break dance your way to popping every single bubble!

Chalk Art

Site 3: Pacific Street Art Space

3:30—5:00 PM (Free Activity)

Express yourself!! Kid’s Night Out is the creative marker space for youth of all ages! Pick up a piece of chalk and become a painter by helping create a mural just for New Year’s Eve on Pacific Street for all to see!

Making Crowns

New Year's Eve Crowns

Site 4: Art Station 1, Pacific Street

3:15—5:00 PM (Free Activity)

Site 19: Conference Ctr Serra Lobby

6:30—8:45 PM (Button Venue)

Select your markers and colorful gemstones to make a crown befitting of a NYE prince or princess! Every Child - even your inner child - will have such fun adorning these crowns with plastic gems, rhinestones, glitter glue, stickers, buttons, ribbons, and other accents to make and wear - crowns that will make you feel like royalty!

Celebration Hats

Celebration Hats

Site 4: Art Station 1, Pacific Street

3:15—5:00 PM (Free Activity)

Site 19: Conference Ctr Serra Lobby

6:30—8:45 PM (Button Venue)

Be creative and have fun is our motto! The creating of the celebration hat brings out the kid in everyone! The fashionable all wear them, for they display the creativity in all of us! What? A new year’s hat… so turn a paper grocery bag into a top hat with pizzazz! using tulle, beads, pipe cleaners, colored paper, prismatic Mylar strips and more! Bring your own bags to be a recycling superhero! Fun for all ages-and an absolute must for First Night participants with flair!

Painted Faces

First Night Face Art!

Site 5: Art Station 2, Colton Lawn

3:30 – 4:45 PM (Free Activity, on-going, lines are formed)

First Night artists are ready to create a festive, artful image on your face! Please note, this a popular activity, waiting lines are formed; lines may close early so artists can finish on time.


FNM Kiosks: New Year's Eve Blinkies and Button Sales

Site 2: Pacific Street (3:00—5:00)
Site 7: Alvarado Street near Pearl Street (3:30—8:45)
Site 16: Alvarado Street at Del Monte, in the Plaza (3:00—11:00)

Glow in the dark, light up the night, fly into the new year! First Night Monterey takes pride in providing New Year's Eve novelty items at family-friendly prices. Visit one of our kiosks to purchase the perfect glow-in-the-dark accessory that will add a magical sparkle to anyone's New Year's Eve look. This is a fundraiser for First Night; all proceeds benefit our year-round arts programs. Buy Admission Buttons here also.

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FNM 2024 Take a Selfie - Dance Like its 2024!

Site 8A: Alvarado Street

6:45—10:00 (Free Activity)

Site 21: Conference Ctr, Steinbeck Lobby

6:15—9:45 (Button Venue)

Commit your family's hopes and wishes for the New Year to our Resolution Sculpture along with those of your friends and neighbors. Take a selfie to commemorate the New Year!

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FNM 2024 Resolution Sculpture

Site 21A: Conference Ctr, Steinbeck Lobby

6:15—9:45 (Button Venue)

Commit your family's hopes and wishes for the New Year to our Resolution Sculpture along with those of your friends and neighbors!


Site 6: Alvarado Street at Pearl

6:30—8:45 (Free Activity)

Monterey Fire Department will park a fire truck at the corner of Pearl and Alvarado Streets and the firefighters invite all future firefighters as well as fans to come meet them and see the truck up close! Enjoy some hot chocolate with them, snap a selfie with the firefighters and give them a heartfelt Thank You for their service!

Just Dance

First Night Presents "Just Dance!" (Video Game) (DA/CH)

Site 10: Alvarado Street/Just Dance Stage

7:00—9:15 PM (Free Activity)

Step to the beat and get into the rhythm as you play the Just Dance video game! From Taylor Swift to Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish —get ready to dance!! You're the star! There's something for all ages.


Yaocuauhtli Danza Cultural (WM/CH)

Site 1: Colton Lawn Opening Ceremony

3:00—3:15 | 3:45—4:00

Site 8: Alvarado Street Galleria


Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance opens the First Night celebration with stunning costumes and traditional Aztec dances. Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance is a calpulli (social unit) dedicated to the cultural enrichment of the community of Salinas thru Aztec dance, music, song and culture. Since its founding in 2003, Yaocuauhtli is dedicated in strengthening the identity of the Mexican community by teaching indigenous traditions of their ancestors to future generations. They handcraft their regalia utilizing exotic skins, natural stones and beads, genuine leather and naturally molted exotic feathers for their headdresses.

Shinsho Mugen Daiko (WM/CH)

Site 1 Pacific Street Stage

3:15—3:45 | 4:00—4:45

Hear the thunder of the drums! Experience the exquisite physicality of these Taiko Drummers as they perform traditional Japanese drumming, incorporating elements of martial arts. Shinsho Mugen Daiko was founded in 1999 by Ikuyo Contant, as a group of drummers interested in studying the art of Japanese drumming. Taiko is a traditional art form that incorporates the elements of martial arts, focusing on centering oneself in the grounded position, the concentration, direction, and controlling of energy and breathing.

Guitars Not Guns

Site 12: Franklin St Stage, Alvarado St.

Time: 5:00—5:30 | 6:30—7:00

The Guitars Not Guns band features Monterey County youth, alumni, and adult volunteers who gather every Saturday at the Marina Teen Center for free guitar lessons. Playing a blend of American classics and contemporary hits, these kids are fun and inspiring, with groovy rhythm stand out vocal and solo performers. Under the direction of Amy Warren. Guitars Not Guns provides free instruments and lessons throughout Monterey County. The band performs at local festivals and events including the West End Festival, County Fair, and First Night Monterey.

Singing Wood (WM)

Site 15: Monterey Center for Spiritual Living

6:30—7:00 | 7:15—7:45

Singing Wood Marimba brings high-energy music from Zimbabwe. Singing Wood plays the Shona style of marimba. This music offers exceptional melodic and polyrhythmic variety, from the very simple to the extremely complex, and its ancient spiritual roots strike common chords in all people who are open to it. A glorious learning experience and playing experience is what Singing Wood aspires to be; come be a part of it!

Black Irish Band (FK/WM)

Site 11: Golden State Theater

7:30—8:00 | 8:15—8:45 | 9:00—9:30

Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the Black Irish Band of 28 years have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large complement of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The band's musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.

Flashpoint FireShow (DA/CH)

Site 14: Alvarado Street Illumination Artists

7:30—8:00 | 8:45—9:15 | 10:00—10:30

The Flashpoint Fire Show is a spectacle of the most cutting edge entertainment that perhaps has only been experienced in your dreams and should not to be missed. You will witness some of the most talented and beautiful fire dancers execute the most elegant maneuvers ever seen to exciting music that is sure to blow your mind. These professional performing artists known as Flashpoint will not disappoint to truly bring light and magic to First Night Monterey!

DiFranco DanceProject (DA/CH)

Site 8: Galleria,, Alvarado Street

7:30—8:00 | 8:15—8:45

The DiFranco DanceProject will present a lively, colorful, culturally diverse holiday program of dances representing New Orleans Jazz, Afro-Samba of Bahia and Afro-Cuban Fusion and even a unique blend of Afro-Celtic Dance. The DiFranco DanceProject is a local youth dance troupe of youth ranging from 8 through 16. The dancers are members of Dianne Lyle’s Afro-Latin Jazz Dance classes, originally an after-school dance program sponsored by the Pacific Grove Recreation Department.

Nā Haumāna (DA/WM)

Site 18: Serra Ballroom, Conference Center


Nā Haumāna brings the spirit of Aloha to First Night! Recognizing their foundation in tradition, today they evolve with creativity and testing, experimenting in music and dance movement, teaching culture and dance from the Polynesian and Micronesian Islands. Their piece, Aloha ‘Aina, pays homage to the respect and preservation of Hawai'i land and culture to perpetuate her aloha for generations to come. Nā Haumāna (“the student” in Hawaiian) brings the islands of Polynesia to life! Children will dance first, followed by the adults.


Jayson Fann Rhythm (WM)

Site 12: Franklin Street Stage, Alvarado Street

8:00—8:45 | 9:00-9:45 | 10:00—11:00

Jayson Fann, percussionist, and celebrated musicians with his band of international drummers and dancers will bring alive FIrst Night Monterey with a celebration of rhythms from around the globe. Jayson is a multi-Instrumentalist, percussionist and drummer, specializing in Pan African percussion and drums with a special emphasis in Afro Cuban folkloric, Ghanaian, Yoruba, Jazz , Hip hop, Brazilian, Flamenco and middle eastern music. His work is centered in the creation of arts and cultural collaborations that foster connection with nature, intercultural dialogue and awareness.