First night is out, Relive Nye is in


First Night may have been cancelled, but Tacoma will not be left without a free and public event via which to bid farewell to 2018 and welcome the New Year with gusto. When First Night Tacoma-Pierce County (an independent group) announced the cancellation of First Night last month – due to lack of funding – others decided to step up and assemble an event to be set in Tollefson Plaza.

The festival zone will extend for two blocks along Pacific Avenue, between South 15th and South 17th streets. The civic minded coalition that stepped into the breech to provide this free public celebration of the new year is composed of City of Tacoma, Downtown on the Go, singer and producer Kim Archer and Foster’s Creative.

This group has been busy assembling a lineup of musical entertainment, art and food trucks. Called “ReLive NYE,” the event will take place Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. until after midnight. The stage will be on Pacific Avenue facing Tollefson Plaza. Tiffany Wilson, a soul, funk and rhythm and blues singer, will headline the show. Wilson will be on the stage as everyone counts down to the moment in which the new year makes its arrival.

Earlier in the evening there will be performances by Holy Pistola, a soul, funk and hip hop group; progressive rockers and self-professed geek band BES; Cody Ray Raymond, who was a contestant on “The Voice;” country singer Leah Justin; and the Jimmy Shields Dance Troupe. The stage show will be presided over by DJ Emcee Q-Dot (Quincy Henry).

Additionally, there will be a beer garden and food trucks. Tollefson Plaza is an ideal spot for a new year celebration. The spot is available due to the relocation of the winter ice skating rink, which had occupied Tollefson Plaza until it was moved to Point Ruston a couple of years ago. In years past, First Night took place further up the hill, along Broadway. It will be a nice change of pace to have an event along Tacoma’s main drag. ReLive NYE is designed to have something to offer for everyone. There are likely to be some surprises and last-minute guests added to the menu of the evening’s festivities. First Night loyalists, don’t fret. Your city and friends have your back. Let ReLive NYE be your public party and look forward for First Night to rise from the ashes and return for the coming of 2020.

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