See what our attendees and artists say about First Night Evanston

January 2022

First Night-Evanston” story by Julia W. Rath

January 1, 2018

We love First Night, a big thanks for bringing the Maxwell Street Kleizmer Band; they were great missed. 

Mike O., January 1, 2018

A fantastic way to celebrate our community. Thankful to be a part of it

Lynne J. December 2017

So excited! The first place I lived on my own, where I went to college and where I first started singing with a band? Evanston! Always in my heart!  2017 yeah!!

Emily., December 3, 2017

This event is the best thing in town on New Year’s Eve. Close to 30 hours of programs for a mere $25. I've attended since it started in 1992, served on the board for many years and the evening has never disappointed.

Catherine S., January 25, 2016

Nice variety of entertainment for a fun filled night! Wish there were more food trucks.

Robert S., December 9, 2016

Howard Levy is a generous performer, simply put. I always catch myself with my jaw dropped when I hear him. When you’re there, look around, you’ll see I’m not the only one.

​Anonymous, First Night New Year’s Eve 2014

We went to First Night Evanston and it was GREAT. So glad they brought it back....and now they're talking about next year (well, actually this year) and fireworks.... the quality of the music acts was top notch and the music venues were awesome, especially the First Presbyterian Church...pretty magnificent actually.... they figured they had 3000+ attending all the venues… IMO, there are a few bugs to work out for next time, such as staggering the musical acts and having more stuff in the park and more local business participation.... and for anyone who thinks this shindig is for the families to get out before the real NYE celebration is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG....

Originally posted on

Howard Levy December 30, 2014

I played at last year’s First Night with my group Acoustic Express at the First Presbyterian Church and it was great. I was never even inside there before and it was just beautiful. That’s one of the great things about First Night – all these churches are really wonderful places to play music and I was pleasantly surprised.


WTTW, December 30, 2014

Catch the story about First Night on WTTW, Interviews with some of the artists.



First Night Evanston is a family-friendly community Celebration of the Arts taking place on New Year's Eve since 1992.

This year because of Covid 19, First Night will be hosting a virtual variety show celebration.

You can stay safe at home and still celebrate with Corky Siegel and all the performers we are lining up for our "Virtual Variety" show livestreamed on

First Night Evanston is a 501c3 non-profit Illinois corporation that relies on the generosity of local businesses, civic associations and individuals to keep this annual tradition alive.


First Night Evanston strives to make the event accessible, welcoming, and affordable.

Thanks to Romano Wealth, Byline Bank (formerly First Bank and Trust), Northwestern University, Kiwanis Club, Hecky’s, Chicago Blues Guide, and members of the congregations at local churches for their continued support.

New City Moving joined as a sponsor in early 2022. Thank them at

Contributions from our loyal audience will compensate the performers and help us build a reserve for next year's (hopefully) live event on 12/31/22.



The "Virtual Variety" show takes place

on New Year's Eve, December 31,2021, starting at 9:45 pm CST.

Corky Siegel will be emceeing the "Virtual Variety" streamed concert and will perform a personal version of

Auld Land Syne with a countdown to midnight so we can virtually ring in the new year together.

Hooray for 2022--a new, NEW year for all of us.



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