Haddonfield's family-friendly First Night is Monday

A First Night banner crosses Kings Highway in downtown Haddonfield. Admission buttons cost $15, but many events can be seen free.
A First Night banner crosses Kings Highway in downtown Haddonfield. Admission buttons cost $15, but many events can be seen free. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 29, 2012

For the 15th year in a row, Haddonfield will usher in the new year with a family-friendly First Night celebration Monday.

The 2012 version offers events ranging from rock music to a magic show, from historical reenactors to fireworks. More than a dozen sites on or near Kings Highway will host events, starting at 6.

Many of the shows are for children, including several musical performances and the magic act. Shuttles will stop every 15 minutes at each venue.

Admission to all indoor activities costs $15, the price of a First Night button, which may be purchased in advance or on Monday. It's advisable to come early for admission to headline events such as The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience show at Haddonfield Memorial High School, First Night coordinator Maureen Eyles said.

Many attractions are free, including street performances and fireworks at 9. There will be food stands, and some restaurants will offer special meals. At an open-air "Countdown Stage" at Kings Highway and Tanner Street, a DJ will entertain audiences until midnight.

"It's wonderful to walk up and down the highway and see people in a great mood. We all have a great time," Mayor Tish Colombi said. "People come from near and far to be there."

First Night in Haddonfield is patterned after a 1975 event in Boston - an alcohol-free, family-oriented celebration of the new year, Eyles said. Two other South Jersey towns will have First Night celebrations Monday: Mount Holly and Ocean City.

The Haddonfield event is sponsored by 60 businesses or individuals and costs about $90,000, Eyles said, with about a third of the funding coming from button sales. Last year, in mild weather, the fireworks drew more than 8,000.

The first of January marks the beginning of Haddonfield's Tricentennial year. To celebrate, Sweet T's Bakeshop is making a large multitiered cake featuring scenes from the borough's history. It will be displayed at the Countdown Stage, and at 10 p.m., it will be cut up and shared outside the shop, 14 Kings Court.


For more about Haddonfield's First Night, go to www.firstnighthaddonfield.org. For information about Burlington County's First Night celebration in Mount Holly, go to http://www.mainstreetmountholly.com.

Contact Dan Hardy at 856-779-3858 or dhardy@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @DanInq.

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