Edwards Church

Ed the Balloon Man's Magic Show

Every year Ed the Balloon Man is one of the most popular shows at First Night. Ed Popielarczyk pulls people in with his stories and wonderful balloon sculpting and before you know it, audience members are part of the act. Ed believes that the people in the audience are the stars of the show because their participation makes the magic happen. Everyone who comes on "stage" to be a helper receives a souvenir. As a professional balloon sculptor, magician, and storyteller Ed has been entertaining children and family audiences for over thirty years.

2-2:45 and 3-3:45 at Edwards Church


With their roots-rockin' klezmer and Jewish music this band embodies the communal celebration of New Year's Eve. An all-star quintet, Klezamir will stir your soul and set your feet to tapping. As one listener said, "Your beautiful music echoed a time when weddings took place on the streets of shtetl." Klezamir feature Jim Armenti on clarinet, mandolin and guitar, Felicia Sloin on lead vocals, Amy Rose on flute and piano, Joe Blumenthal on bass and Keith Levreault on drums.

4-4:45 and 5-5:45 at Edwards Church

The Valley Jazz Divas

Jill Connolly, Barbara Weene, Carol Abbe Smith are the Valley Jazz Divas. They have been performing together for more than eight years throughout Western Massachusetts. Musically the Divas love to harmonize, improvise and let their forces combine for an ever-changing ride on blues, pop and jazz standards. You can hear Jill Connolly's engaging style on her "Venus in Transit" album, Barbara Ween's love of jazz standards shining through her "Detour Ahead" CD, and Abbe Smith's passion for improvising lighting up her "Close Your Eyes" album.

7-7:45 and 8-8:45 at Edwards Church

Jose Gonzalez and Criollo Clasico

The Criollo Clasico Trio brings music from Puerto Rico and Brazil to stages far and wide or as they say, "From the Caribbean to the world!" Criollo Clasico is anchored by guitarist Jose Gonzalez, a marvelous musician who has released 17 albums with his own ensembles and been the music director for some of Puerto Rico's top artists like Roy Brown and Giovanni Hidalgo. Gonzalez has performed with the Hartford Symphony and been a featured artist on four Putumayo CD compilations. He is also a major composer and performer of works for the ten string cuatro, the Puerto Rican national instrument. In Criollo Clasico, Jose Gonzalez is joined by his accomplished sons Ahmed Gonzalez on flute and Rene Gonzalez on bass and percussion.

9:15-10 and 10:15-11 at Edwards Church

Choose a venue for more details about performers and times.

All First Night performances are family-friendly, but these are especially suitable for younger children.