Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

Back by popular demand, First Night Evanston today announced several headline acts and attractions for its New Year’s Eve celebration. The eclectic cultural event will showcase nearly 30 musical and theatrical performances, including musical guests, a poetry slam and a wide array of children’s programming.

The line-up features Grammy Award-winning harmonica player Howard Levy, longtime folk and blues singer Corky Siegel, jazz guitarist Bobby Broom and bluegrass singer James King.

In addition, the schedule boasts about a dozen artist attractions: Chicago native Marc Smith will perform some of his groundbreaking work and host the event’s poetry slam. Because the entire New Year’s Eve program is a family affair, First Night Evanston will provide several children’s workshops and activities in the afternoon such as crafts, storytelling, music and even a flea circus.

First Night has been on hiatus since 2005. Residents requested its revival to coincide with the town’s 150th anniversary.

“The committee wanted to provide a distinctive cultural event that offers entertainment for all ages. We felt it was necessary to ensure families in Evanston and surrounding communities can fully enjoy themselves on New Year’s Eve, taking part in all of the sights and sounds,” said Emily Guthrie, president of First Night Evanston. 

First night, from 1 p.m. on Dec. 31 until the stroke of midnight, will be centered in Raymond Park, Chicago Avenue between Grove and Lake streets.  Performances will be located in multiple indoor venues, all within a two-block radius of the park.

First Night Evanston’s complete lineup and schedule will be available in mid-November. Tickets are available now at