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First Night® Oil CityRoars Our Way


Oil City Arts Council’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night ® Oil City, will take place on Saturday, December 31, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s gala event is “The Roaring 20’s – Then and Now!”

This fun-filled, family-oriented, non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve festivity will again offer an array of wonderful live entertainment at multiple venues on the north and south sides of Oil City:

• Venango Museum will host Tom Roberts and the Chosen Few. Tom is a leading exponent of early jazz piano. He’s played everywhere from New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Tonight Show to the major jazz clubs in the French Quarter.

·The Wye Bridge Hobby Shop will showcase toy trains traveling about on train layout. Many great toys will be on display and children may operate radio-controlled cars.

• At the National Transit Building Annex, revelers can express themselves percussively and with enthusiasm as they actively participate in a drum circle with Kim and friends.

·Magic Steve Bennett will appear in the Great Room of the National Transit Building. He will lead off his evening performance with a ½ hour magic act, followed by entertaining the audiences for the remainder of the evening with his fascinating balloon art.

• Revelers may also enjoy creating crazy self-made hats in the hallway on the first floor of the National Transit Building from 6:00 p.m. and continuing until 8:00 p.m.

• Cahal Dunne, “Ireland’s Piano Man – The Man of Many Jackets”, will perform in the Sanctuary of Trinity UMC. As a performer, he possesses that certain magical quality known in show business as “It.” “It” transcends talent and comes from deep within a great entertainer, then washes over an audience, captivating them.

• The amazing Gingerbread Jamboree Puppet Show, featuring life-sized puppets, will take place in the Trinity Room of Trinity UMC. Ralphie the elf has one dangerous job; he has to feed the Gingerbread Beast! It gobbles up cookies, houses, and most of all… stories! With help from the audience, Ralphie entertains the beast with his favorite fairy tales, the Gingerbread Man and Hansel and Gretel … before there’s nothing left of the holidays. 

• In a Trinity UMC classroom, the ever-popular Butler Clowns will dazzle people with their balloon characters, face-painting, and more. With the classroom space, kids will also have an opportunity to get their faces painted or to make crafts to take with them, with all materials being provided.

• At the former Social Security Office location at 42 Seneca Street, Community Playhouse, Inc. will provide a 1920’s themed booth for photo ops and a fun time. Props will be provided. Stop by and have friends or a volunteer take your photo as you take a trip back in time.

• The Christ Episcopal Church will host Max Shang and Sweet Atmosphere. The name ‘Sweet Atmosphere’ is a nod to Django Reinhardt’s ‘Douce Ambiance’ but the Trio will not just play Django Reinhardt songs but a broad variety of European swing-style music to bring smiles to audiences.

• Appearing in the YWCA gymnasium will be the Pittsburgh-based Gatsby Gang Jazz Trio. The Gatsby Gang is the premier Gatsby-themed Jazz Band in the Pittsburgh area. They perform roaring 20’s/30’s jazz and also modern pop/jazz/lounge hits. This popular band performs for hundreds of weddings and private/corporate events and Gatsby parties.

• The Calvary UM Church will host talented local balloon artists, Mary and John Vogan. Their stellar and unique balloon art will feature confetti, heart-shaped, dragonfly, and tye-dye balloons.

Additionally, the gala First Night ® Oil City event will feature a grand 7:00 p.m. fireworks display; “First Bites’ of food indoors at Trinity and Calvary United Methodist Churches or some local restaurants; outdoor bonfires on each side of town; and, a largely constructed replica of a 1920’a Gatsby Car in Towne Square that will provide for great photo ops.

During the celebration, a cozy shuttle bus will be available to transport people to and from the north and south sides of town from 5:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Admission requires the purchase of a First Night admission button. The button cost is $10 and children of ages 10 and under (previously ages 5 and under) will be admitted free of charge.

The buttons and accompanying event brochure that provides times and locations of events are available for purchase at the Oil City Public Library, Gates and Burns Realty, Inc., Transit Arts Gallery & Gifts, Venango Museum and the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. In the evening on New Year’s Eve, buttons will only be available for purchase at Trinity UMC and Venango Museum on the north side of town.

For further information check out Facebook.com/FirstNightOilCity; or, visit oilcityartscouncil.org. A special FirstNight SnapChat filter sponsored by HOLeY JEANS will be available during the event to share photos of your First Night experience with others.

Please use #firstnightoilcity2022 to help spread the word and share photos on social media posts.


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