Rockport New Year’s Eve 2018

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Rockport’s 22nd annual New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts will take place in downtown Rockport on December 31, 2018.  Some 40 performers will present more than 80 shows with all kinds of music, drama, children’s activities, and much more.  Performances will take place in 17 venues, all within easy walking distance of each other, and most handicap-accessible.  Activities begin at 6:00PM, and the shows begin on the hour, every hour, until the midnight ball drop.  The website, at, has all the details, along with opportunities to buy buttons and volunteer to help.

For 2018 many favorites are returning and there is much that is new.  Clowns and a face painter will entertain children at the Community House, along with games and other activities provided by the YMCA.  Joe Howard, a new act, will bring his magic, juggling, and stilt walking to the UU church.  Roaming Railroad will entertain families with train rides around the downtown area, and the drum parade will again march down Broadway.  Scout Hall will host the Rockin’port New Year’s Eve Youth Show, focused for teens and hosted by Charlee Bianchini and Jack Tomaiolo of The Music Asylum school of Essex.  Jeremy Lyons will perform New Orleans swing, country blues, jazz and hillbilly music at the Baptist Church with the Busted Jug Band.  The Shalin Liu welcomes back the Cape Ann Big Band, What Time Is It, Mr. Fox, and Henri Smith and Friends.  International duo Marina Evans (Rockport) and Bernardo Baglioni (Florence, Italy) will perform original folk and Americana music at the Congregational Church.  The inaugural 10 Minute Play contest was a rousing success last year, and it will return with staged readings of nine plays, submitted from around the world, presented upstairs at Spiran Hall.

Rockport New Year’s Eve is pleased to acknowledge very generous support from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, Cape Ann Savings Bank, Institution for Savings, the Applied Materials Foundation, BankGloucester, The Rockport Cultural Council, Manchester Athletic Club and more than 80 other local businesses and organizations.  Their donations helped keep button prices affordable again this year.

The distinctive button that provides admission to all of the evening’s events was designed by Rockport student Luke Wallace, winner of the first button design contest.  Button prices before December 25 are $15 for Adults and $10 for Youth, 12 and under are free.  Prices increase December 25, so buy them early online at, or in Rockport at Bean & Leaf Cafe, John Tarr Store, Katie’s Gift Shop, Rite Aid, or Smith Ace Hardware & Lumber; or in Gloucester at Building Center, Common Crow, House of Raven, Hometown Ace Hardware, or the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.  Buttons may also be purchased at event headquarters at Spiran Hall beginning the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

Food and souvenirs will be sold at event headquarters at Spiran Hall.  Free parking will be available at Whistlestop Mall, and a free bus with a wheelchair lift will transport revelers between the parking, the train station, and the performance venues.  Handicap-accessible venues are indicated on the website.

It takes a small army of volunteers to conduct this event.  People are still needed to set up, to check buttons at venues, to sell buttons, food, and souvenirs, and to clean up afterward.  Two hours of work are rewarded with a free button.  Please click the Volunteer at or contact Rockport New Year’s Eve at 978-309-9744 or if you can help.