First Night Evanston, hosted by musician Corky Siegel (with blues harp at the ready), kicks off Dec. 31 at the First United Methodist Church, 516 Church St. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

A long-delayed citywide party is coming in a few days, and the buzz is growing. High school musicians? Check. Legendary harmonica genius? Check. Mind-reader? Check. Got your tickets? You’d better check.

First Night Evanston is back, featuring ETHS musicians. This year – the first in-person First Night since the pandemic began – the opening act is a group of seven of Evanston Township High School’s finest musical talents. Timezone Jazz Band will kick off the festivities at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at First United Methodist Church, 512 Church St., followed by harmonica legend Corky Siegel, who returns to First Night this year, and “mentalist” Chris Carter.

Rabbi Rachel Weiss stands outside an emergency shelter in Ciudad Juárez. The quote reads “Nothing is more important than human life.” Credit: Submitted

While so many here have been consumed with the holidays, Rabbi Rachel Weiss was in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez at the U.S.-Mexico Border as part of a delegation sent by the nonprofit T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization. She worked to bring a moral, religious voice to support immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. 

The ETHS girls basketball team has a week’s worth of tournament play with a healthy roster. It started off badly with a 54-46 loss to Benet, but the coach and the Kits are hoping for better results as the tournament continues.

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Pat Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan worked at the Washington Post for about 20 years, covering everything from news obituaries to politics to hurricanes. She spent a year as a liaison between IT staff and the newsroom,...