Make New Year’s Eve a Bright Night

[ 23 ] December 18, 2008 |

Kidoinfo is giving away 3 family fourpacks to attend this year’s Bright Night celebration. See details below to enter.

Web Ad 2009Do you know what you are doing for New Years Eve this year? Whether you are looking for fun, day or night for you and your children, consider supporting the arts and attending this year’s Bright Night Providence. This arts-oriented New Year’s Eve celebration has entertainment for the whole family. Another reason why I love Providence. Performers are scheduled at various venues all over the city–music, magic, comedy, storytellers and more–starting at Noon at some places like Providence Children’s Museum, RISD Museum of Art, and BOA Skating Center. Other venues will open later in the afternoon on December 31, ending after we welcome in the New Year with a laser show at midnight downtown in Kennedy Plaza (instead of a fireworks display). As long as you have a Bright Night bracelet (see details below), you can wander between venues, enjoying all the amazing talent.

In 2003, a group of local artists banded together under the new name Bright Night, when the First Night Providence organization stepped down. Bright Night Providence carries on the tradition of First Night Providence with city, corporate, and citizen support. Now in its sixth year this year’s festival features over fifty performers in over twenty venues, including a family of daredevil circus performers, The Nerveless Nocks.

The Nocks have a storied past: they are a ninth generation family of circus performers, starting back as early as 1840 in Switzerland. Today’s troupe is run by Michelangelo Nock, whose father arrived from Switzerland in 1954 to star in the Greatest Show on Earth. The family has performed throughout the world for kings and queens, at gigantic festivals (including a number of Superbowl and television events) and as the featured act on most of the great circuses of the world. It was Queen Elizabeth who dubbed them the “Nerveless” Nocks. Some of the acts featured in the show will be the Wheel of Destiny, in which the Nocks perform leaps, somersaults, handstands on a moving aerial pendulum; and the Tower of Chairs, where Michelangelo will climb a 20 foot tall tower made of chairs and do breath-taking handstands while completely unsupported from the ceiling.

The Nerveless Nocks will perform three Daredevil Thrill shows in Providence as part of this year’s Bright Night lineup. Their shows will be performed at 6, 8, and 10 pm at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Your Bright Night ticket will guarantee you admission to one of their three shows, plus more than sixty other performances at twenty other venues throughout the day (on a space available basis).

Big Nazo

Some of the other artists on the Bright Night bill include local legends Big Nazo Puppets, Celtic group Pendragon, bebop great Greg Abate, Grammy winner storyteller/singer Bill Harley, a blues swing/dance party featuring the Black and White Blues Band and the Superchief Trio, dance group Carolyn Dutra Dancers, a special Bright Night Poetry Slam, and a host of other artists and events. Click to see Bright Night Schedule.

Want to win a family fourpack to attend the 2008 Brigth Night Providence?
Tell us in the comments below; “What is your favorite tradtion on New Years’ Eve?”
We will randomly select 3 people win a family fourpack (each valued at $50). Deadline is Tuesday at Noon, December 23, 2008.

Bright Night Details:

Tickets (a Tyvek wristband) and complete schedules are available online at, and available in person at all BankRI locations, all OOP! stores, and at the EastSide Marketplace.
Tickets are $10 each if purchased in advance, $15 on the day of event. Family fourpacks for $50 will also be available day of the event. There are a limited amount of tickets, so purchase early to avoid getting closed out.
Your ticket guarantees you a seat at one of The Nerveless Nocks’ Shows at 6, 8 or 10pm and allows you into all other shows, space available.
More information: call 401-621-6123 or visit
Parking: Free on-street parking or pay $9 in the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Category: art, holidays, local ri area

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (23)

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  1. calendar kate says:

    My favorite NY Eve tradition is to always be in bed, with someone I love, or at the very least a good book, by 11:30.

  2. Sarah says:

    fireworks from the lookout on Prospect Street….. the early ones at 5:30, then home with kidos…. unless someone wants to babysit!

  3. EL says:

    Lighting a few sparkler cake candles, waking my daughter just before the countdown in Times Square … and making a wish for the New Year while trying to blow out the candles!

  4. Johanna Corcoran says:

    My News Year’s Eve traditions have changed depending on the year– but the constant NYE companions are always Chinese food for lunch, little bites for dinner and a good movie. Bright Night is quickly becoming a tradition- this year will be our third and I really appreciate all that is done to bring people into the city to celebrate the arts with neighbors!

  5. Alli says:

    My fav New Years’ Eve tradition is “ladies night” All the women in my family gather around one kitchen from the early afternoon until around 10p and cook and prepare for our family holiday party. We always get together on New Year’s Day for our family Holiday party and to exchange gifts. Some years we’ve had 4 or 5 generations in the kitchen sharing tips and passing on secret family recipies. Then the grands and great-grands take all the little ones so the “big-kids” can celebrate.

  6. Alli says:

    i’ll bet brite nite could be a great thing to keep the dads and kiddies busy most of the day… beats seeing them all camped out in front of the tv watching sports and cartoons or playing Wii and playstation

  7. Betsy says:

    My favorite tradition is to stay home with someone I love, make popcorn and watch the ball drop at Times Square. Pretty lame but nice.

  8. holly says:

    As a child I remember taking out pots and pans and wooden spoons to bang on at New Years. I carry on this tradition with my own kids even though my hubby rolls his eyes every year as my daughter digs to find her perfect (loudest) instruments.

  9. Kate says:

    We love to feast all night on appetizers, until the kids pass out and we watch the revels on the tv – or sleep ourselves! We wake up early the next day and have a smashing big breakfast!

  10. Kate says:

    We have dinner with the same good friends every year, but alternate hosting. Most of the time we make it until midnight. Last night we went to Bright Night in the afternoon and stayed for the early fireworks.

  11. Kate L. says:

    Past (circa late ’80s): Midnight Fun Run in Central Park.
    The starting gun sounds at the stroke, just as the ball drops and the crowd sends up its joyful noise from down the street in Times Square; hundreds of happy runners, many in costume, many more folks lining the route cheering just because; champagne in paper cups on the water tables; the exhilirating feeling of doing something physical as a first gesture in the new year — envigorating, celebratory, neighborly spin ’round the park.
    Present: Bright Night festivities, fireworks with my wee, dear family, taken in in wonder from the State House lawn. Different city, different neighbors, same feelings of joy, hope, community, love.

  12. Megan says:

    What a great excuse to drink some good champagne!! New Years eve is about being with friends, sharing good food, setting lofty goals and some grounded resolutions. Perhaps this year we will try Bright Nights for the early fireworks with the kids!!

  13. Anisa Raoof Anisa says:

    This year’s celebration will not include fireworks unfortunately. There are plenty of performances all afternoon and evening though to enjoy culminating in a laser at midnight.

  14. Adrienne says:

    Our favorite thing is fireworks (though I know I will have to spend the next week explaining why we can’t see fireworks everynight….)

  15. Adam says:

    Thanks for this thread! It’s great to hear that people have come to Bright Night and enjoyed it! As the organizer, it warms my heart!

    Yes, unfortunately this year we are not able to include fireworks. With all the building going on, there’s now no place visible from downtown for the city to shoot off fireworks.

    After the event, I plan on writing to the city,state, and DOT to ask as they tear down the highway and figure out what to do with it, that they preserve a 600foot circular park/like space that could be used as a park during the year, and for special events as a fireworks launch site.

    This would ensure that there was a place in downtown to shoot off fireworks from.

    For this year, we are producing a pretty spectacular laser show downtown at midnight (community suggested to gather at 11:30 in Kennedy Plaza for the countdown) and we’ve got lots of activities for kids all throughout the day, including stuff going on at RISD Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, the Mathewson Street Church, and Biltmore Park (half-price skating and ice sculptures!) We’ll also have a figure-skating display, and the opening ceremonies at the Bank of America Skating Center.

    Full schedule is up at

    Hope to see you all at Bright Night!

  16. Allan says:

    My wife introduced me to the tradition of banging pots and pans with wooden spoons, which we carry on with much glee to the bemusement of our neighbors. In the past few years, we’ve added Bright Night as a new tradition, which is always a treat to walk around the city with fellow citizens in a festive mood, and see the amazing talent our city brings together !

  17. Dori says:

    At home with a fire, chocolate fondue, and Marx Brothers movies.

  18. Jean says:

    I used to go to Boston’s first night with my parents every year while growing up. One of the best memories was planning our schedule so we could see as much as possible and not be too cold. 🙂 Now I am living in RI and have my own little family and would love to start the tradition of Bright Night on New Year’s EVe with my children. Thanks for this site, it is awesome.

  19. joe says:

    My wife said, “Try to win this.”

  20. jennifer says:

    every other year we tend to head to our friends in vermont…so far it looks like we will be here for the holiday so it would be fun to be festive in providence!

  21. Anisa Raoof Anisa says:

    Congratulations to Jean, Johanna, and Allan, the winners of the Bright Night Family Fourpack tickets! Please email your full name and address to confirm prize.

  22. Chloe says:

    I love to sit with my good friends with popcorn bowls next to us and when the ball drops we throw the popcorn ito the air. It’s fun to do…but not to clean up:)

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