First Night Tri-Cities bringing everything but the fireworks indoors

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerDecember 24, 2013 

Cassidy Almquist won't let a serious injury get in the way of her singing debut when she performs at this year's First Night Tri-Cities event on New Year's Eve.

Almquist, 18, was injured last summer when she fell from a rope swing at a church camp.

She continues physical therapy after several surgeries to repair an injury to her back.

Though her recovery has been gradual, Almquist, the daughter of Mark and Kari Almquist of Kennewick, remains positive about the progress, she told the Herald in a recent story.

First Night Tri-Cities is her first public singing engagement since her accident. She will perform at 9 p.m. on the event's main stage.

The annual New Year's Eve celebration starts at 4 p.m. at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. The past few years, it has been at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. The venue change means all events will be held indoors this year, except for the fireworks show at midnight.

"The convention center allows us to bring the entire event under one roof for the first time ever," said Parker Hodge, an event organizer. "And allows the community to attend an alcohol-free night celebrating the arts and the passage of one year to the next."

Other featured musical guests at First Night include Eclectic Approach, the Gothard Sisters, Michael Cagle, Tory Christensen's Wiggle Like a Fish show, Tri-City Big Band, Hayley Foraker, Skweez the Weezle Celtic band and jazz and pop bands as well as choirs from Kamiakin, Kennewick, Southridge, Hanford and Richland high schools,

Hypnotist/comedian Jerry Harris also will be there, along with Big Top the Clown, magician Keith Ramsay, juggling by Bill Barr and Rachel Leshikar, karate demonstrations and tap and clogging exhibitions by The Dance Connection.

Also appearing will be Miss Tri-Cities Jenae Calaway and Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen Reagan Rebstock.

Lobby activities at First Night include face painting, a bounce house, a photo booth and the Balloon Dude. There also will be carnival activities.

A countdown to midnight starts at 11:55 p.m. in the parking lot of the convention center. The fireworks show starts at midnight.

"Nowhere else in the Tri-Cities will you be able to celebrate New Year's Eve with your entire family, no matter what their age, and enjoying such a wide variety of visual and performing arts that is affordable and accessible to all," Hodge said.

Admission is $12 in advance or $13 at the door. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center box office.

First Night Tri-Cities schedule

Great Room main stage

4:30-5:15 p.m. -- The Dance Connection, tap and clogging exhibition

5:30-6:30 p.m. -- Karate demonstration

6:45-7:15 p.m. -- The Gothard Sisters, Celtic and vocal variety show.

7:30-8:30 p.m. -- Eclectic Approach, alternative rock

9-9:45 p.m. -- Cassidy Almquist, vocalist

10-10:30 p.m. -- The Gothard Sisters

10:45-11 p.m. -- Jerry Harris, hypnotist/comedian

North stage

4:30-5:15 p.m. -- Wiggle Like A Fish, kids sing-a-long

5:30-6:15 p.m. -- Big Top the Clown

6:30-7:15 p.m. -- Keith Ramsey magic show

7:30-8:15 p.m. -- Arete juggling with Bill Barr and Rachel Leshikar

8:30-9 p.m. -- Chelsea Kupitz, acoustic guitarist

9:50-10:20 p.m. -- Alex Davis, Tommy Oleson and Kayla Oleson, guitar and vocals

10:30-11 p.m. -- Payton Airoldi, guitar and vocals

Lobby stage

5:15-5:40 p.m. -- Keith Ramsay magic show

5:50-6:15 p.m. -- Arete juggling with Bill Barr and Rachel Leshikar

6:30-6:45 p.m. -- Cheer demonstration

7-7:45 p.m. -- Kennewick High Madhatters sing songs from Woodstock, the school's spring musical

8-8:45 p.m. -- Kamiakin High Scarlet & Gold vocal choir

9-9:45 p.m. -- Southridge High 10-piece band performs pop and jazz

10-10:45 p.m. -- Richland High performs instrument jazz and rock

11-11:45 p.m. -- Hanford High jazz combo

Lobby activities

All night -- Vivid Image face painting (a fee will be charged)

All night -- Inflatable bounce toys

All night -- S&S photo booth (pose for pictures with friends

4:15-5 p.m. -- Big Top the Clown roving magic show

4:30-7:30 p.m. -- The Balloon Dude makes hats, animals, swords and more

4:30-6:30 p.m. -- Children's carnival activities

South stage

5:45 p.m. -- Michael Cagle sings

7-8:15 p.m. -- Jerry Harris hypnotist/comedian

8:30-9:15 p.m. -- Skweez the Weezle Celtic band

9:30-10:45 p.m. -- Tri-City Big Band

11p.m. -- Skweez the Weezle Celtic band

Outdoor stage

11:55 p.m. -- Countdown to midnight festivities

Midnight -- Fireworks show

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