Downtown Prepares for First Night Columbia Event

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COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia is gearing up this weekend for 18th annual First Night event taking place New Year's Eve. 

First Night Columbia kicks off at 4:00 p.m. with a 5 k Run/Walk from Cycleextreme and ends with a midnight fireworks display at the Boone County Courthouse Square.  Throughout the evening, twelve venues in the District will have various forms of entertainment such as music, dancing, and activities for kids and teens. Some of the venues include Missouri United Methodist Church, Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, and the Columbia Art League Gallery.

Executive Director Jane Accurso says the night is meant to bring the community closer together. "First Night is very community oriented. We have the high schools involved, we have the local businesses involved, we have the churches involved, and we have a lot of local talent," said Accurso.

Certain events are free, but buttons allow access to all venues and can be purchased prior to the event at the ARC, Streetside Records, and Gerbes Supermarkets through 4:00 p.m. on New Year's Day for $8.00.  Buttons may also be purchased throughout the evening starting at 6:30 from the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts and First Presbyterian Church for $10.00.