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Arts & Culture

First Night Akron to End After 22 Years of New Year's Eve celebrations

First Night Akron celebration
First Night Akron is now only one event that attracts people downtown.

After 22 years of New Year’s Eve celebrations, First Night Akron is ending. The Downtown Akron Partnership, which organizes the event, said declining attendance and changing trends over the years led to the decision.

Sharon Gillberg is the partnership’s Communications Director.

“A lot of the venues and attractions that are downtown, they’re doing quality diverse programming all year long," she said. "Some of these other people have raised the tide, so to speak, on what’s happening downtown to make it vibrant and not focus on just one night a year."

Originally created to draw people downtown, First Night Akron is now joined by other events, including the Akron Art Museum's concert series Downtown@Dusk and those at Lock 3.

Meanwhile, Akron is hoping to encourage people to live downtown as part of its nearly $27 million Main Street corridor renovation.