‘First Night' becomes 3-day ‘Eve' celebration

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SALT LAKE CITY -- There are going to be some big changes in the way Salt Lake City rings in the new year. The first change you should know about: it's not called "First Night" anymore.

The celebration is now called "Eve."In the new logo for Eve" you'll notice the first "E" is backwards and looks like a "3." That's because Eve is a three-day event.

"Last year was so successful, we thought: Is there any way we can expand this and grow it?" explains Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance.

- 3-day extravaganza (Dec. 29-31) - 3-day wristband for $15 - Children under 10 free w/ paid adult - Multiple activities:
- Fine art performances - Live local music - Dance parties - Ski/Snowboard competitions - Film screenings - Laser shows - Activities for kids, pet lovers - Story telling - Midnight fireworks on Dec. 31
- Hosted at downtown venues:
- Gallivan Plaza - The Gateway - Temple Square - Pierpont Avenue - Rose Wagner Performing Arts Ctr - Broadway Cinema - Joseph Smith Memorial Building - Off Broadway Theater
Mathis says the Downtown Alliance decided to expand the New Year's celebration to three nights, 10 different locations and dozens more activities. "It's our hope people will come down the 29th, 30th and the 31st and enjoy their urban center and capitol city," Mathis says.

For 16 years, "First Night" has been only one night of music, dance and fun centered around the Gallivan Center. This year's party has a lot more planned there.

"We're building a rail jam, which is a three-story-high snow field where professional skiers and boarders will come and do tricks," Mathis says.

EVE will host a Battle of the Tribute Bands featuring local bands impersonating KISS, Nirvana, The Beatles, Rush and Santana.

The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center will be busy for the three nights too.

"Five different performances every night for three nights; everything from modern dance to contemporary theater," Mathis explains.

Those putting on the three-day extravaganza admit it's been tough in this rough economy getting it together, but the rough economy is a reason they say this party is needed.

"This is a chance for people to kiss 2009 goodbye and move forward to 2010, knowing it's going to be a brighter future for everyone," Mathis says.

The party starts Tuesday night, Dec. 29. It will cost you $15 for a wrist band, which is good all three nights, and kids 10 and under are free.

Eve is also hosting a charity project call "eBay it Forward." The project aims at raising money for Family Promise Salt Lake, which helps homeless families.

People are asked to bring a treasured item and a story about the item to be displayed. The items and their stories will then be auctioned off on eBay.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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