Corky Siegel topped off FirstNight Evanston with his music. Photo by Heidi Randhava

Hundreds of people turned out for First Night Evanston 2020, the community-wide New Year’s Eve celebration that offers family fun, music and dancing for all ages. This year, all First Night activities and performances were held at First United Methodist Church, 516 Church St.

The event kicked off on the afternoon of Dec. 31 with Giant Family Fun from 2 to 4 p.m.  Entertainment especially for kids included giant bubbles and balloons, and music with Jeanie B!

A mostly adult crowd enjoyed live music and dancing starting at 7 p.m. Favorite singer-songwriter Corky Siegel was back again this year to finish the evening from 10 p.m. to midnight in the sanctuary. Before that, Covington Bluegrass band and American Standard with Charlie Madigan, Michelle Perry and Al Day performed in the sanctuary.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE was the theme in the gym, where Petra Van Nuis of Petra Sings Jazz and Gerald McClendon and the Soul Keepers Band kept people moving until 11:30 p.m.

The entire evening remained family friendly, and children were welcome to accompany their parents. All were invited to ring in the new year with sparklers and singing on the steps the church.

Adult buttons for day and evening entertainment were available for $20 at Evanston Public Libraries and Bookends & Beginnings, 1721 Sherman (alley), online at Eventbrite, and at the door. Tickets for afternoon only Family Fun events were $5/person; no button was required.

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.