First Night cancelled Year of the Pig starved of funding

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Woof! Tacoma welcomed 2018, the Year of the Dog, in style at the annual First Night celebration. Unfortunately, the coming Year of the Pig will not be received with joyful “oink, oink, oinking!” because Tacoma’s popular First Night celebration has been cancelled. An all ages civic bash via where Tacomans have traditionally welcomed in the New Year, First Night started in 1992 and has experienced financial stumbles in the past. The event was absent in 2005 and 2006 due to financial problems.

Following is the official statement from the Theater District Associates Board of Directors, d.b.a. First Night Tacoma-Pierce County:

Funding for non-profits can be challenging, and that is the case for First Night this year. The policy of Theater District Associates, the governing 501c3 for First Night, is to have assurances that grants, donations, and sponsorships are in place in time to guarantee payment to artists and technical staff, as well as the rent for venues and equipment. Unfortunately, and unexpectedly, we do not have sufficient funding in place this year to both meet those obligations and to bring you the First Night you deserve and which you have come to know and love.

After much consideration and discussion, the Theater District Associates Board of Directors voted unanimously to “go dark” this year. It is our duty and responsibility to put our resources into strengthening fundraising projects to build a sustainable future. We are proud of what First Night has brought to our community, and we each believe the Puget Sound will lose something important and vital if we no longer have the chance to join together to celebrate the Old Year and Welcome the New.

You can help us by following us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on what we are doing and signing up for our mailing list. You can also help by providing a one-time or recurring monthly donation at https://theater-district-associates.snwbll.com/giving-portal. If your employer provides matching donations, please let us know.

Spread the word about First Night…. tell family and friends about the Rolling Heads Project, Derby Races, the Car Horn Symphony, and the Iditarace with human-powered sleds. Who could forget the pig races, fire performers, musicians, and hundreds of very cold feet after strolling through the Ice Walk? These are just some of the events that have entertained thousands.

First Night will be looking for volunteers to help with mid-season events, as well as helping with next years’ celebration. We hope you can donate some time and energy and get to know other First Nighters! Contact us at firstnighttacoma@gmail.com to lend your passion and talents to this important community celebration.

First Night has taken a hit and bounced back before. Let’s hope that this round is no different and that First Night can rebound and come back stronger and more spectacular than ever for 2020’s Year of the Rat.

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