Full slate of entertainment planned for First Night


First Night Oil City will be held from 5:30 p.m. until midnight Sunday. The celebration is marking its 20th year. Entertainers who will join the celebration this year include: RPR Band which include former members of Tanglefoot who were winners of the best vocal group at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards; Ireland’s piano man Cahal Dunne; Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
impersonators Charlie Stayduhar and Bob Morelli; blues artist Mitch Littler who sings vocals and plays multiple instruments; The Butler Clowns who will bring humor, magic, skits, balloons and
music to the event; Captain Magic, also known as magician Tom Mclaren; actress, author and storyteller Carol Weakland will bring literary classics to life; 12-string guitarist Neil Jacobs who performs gypsy, world, jazz, Balkan folk, classical and modern fingerstyle music and Bill Sandusky of Erie Ice Works who will work on an ice sculpture.

First time performers for this year’s First Night include: Echo Valley Bluegrass Band, a very popular western Pennsylvania family band comprised of seven siblings; Porcelain Bus Drivers, a
dance band that plays everything, from rock to country, rock, soul, rap, modern, 1960s through today’s hits; the Porter/ Huber Jazz Quartet featuring area instrumental jazz musicians Nelson Porter, Bill Huber Jr., Preston Huber and Patrick Huber; Asleigh Bennett who sings and plays the keyboard and ukulele in styles including Indie, folk and a hint of classical music; and “The Frisbee Guy” Gary Auerbach who was the 1995 World Freestyle Frisbee Champion.

Other 20th anniversary First Night events will include two fireworks displays — a large display at 7 p.m. and send-off burst at midnight, a Cool Night Light People’s Procession, hat-making, craftmaking; outdoor bonfires, a Transit Artists Drum Circle at 9 p.m.; and the opportunity to take photos beside an ice throne sculpture located at Towne Square.  An admittance button must be purchased and worn by attendees prior to entering any performance venue. Detailed program booklets are available at the sites where buttons are sold and they identify performance times and venues as well as First Night tips and other information.

The buttons must be shown to volunteers who will be at entrances and wearing both “blinky” buttons and volunteer ribbons.

Regular buttons will cost $10 each and jazzed up “blinky” buttons will sell for $15 each.

Children of ages 5 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted at no charge.

Buttons are available for purchase at the following locations: Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, Days Inn, Karma Coffee, Transit Arts Gallery, The Sleep Shoppe, Oil City Library and Spilling the Beans Coffee House.

On New Year’s Eve, buttons will only be available after 5 p.m. at Spilling the Beans, Karma Coffee and the National Transit Building.

Two vans will be available from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for transporting First Night revelers about town throughout the evening and until just beyond midnight.

For additional First Night information, people may contact Susan Williams at the Venango Area Chamber at 676-8521 or at swilliams@venangochamber.org or follow the event on Facebook.