A capital idea for those who love the performing arts as much as they love fireworks over water is to head south, where the second First Night Annapolis showcases the lively arts. Based on a concept begun in Boston in 1976, last year's inaugural edition attracted 10,000 spectators for an array of performance events in non-alcoholic settings.
This year there will be 150 performances staged at 30 sites in this historic city from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. New Year's Eve. The crazy assortment includes gospel singing, storytelling, Hungarian dances, magic, Irish vocals and Kung Fu. There's also medieval and Renaissance music, Cajun music, a barbershop quartet, Vietnamese music and ice dancing by the Next Ice Age. Then city bells, bagpipes and fireworks over the Annapolis harbor greet the new year at midnight.
You can join in the fun at First Night Annapolis by paying $10 for a button that admits you to all events, as well as ensuring you free parking and shuttle bus service; children 6 and under are free. Call (410) 266-1197.