… I wanted to tweak it today, here on the website, but after rereading it, I like it well enough:
New Years Eve First Nights, Woo Style
By Rosalie Tirella
Wouldn’t it be great to have our First Night back? … Years ago, New Year’s Eve, when I was 18, 19 and had the stamina to traipse down Main from noon to midnight, we celebrated in the heart of our city. Visiting every other downtown landmark to see it all: Woo city churches, halls, clubs, the YWCA and our library all hosting singers, jugglers, dancers, arts and crafts for kids, ethnic meals for $4 or $5 …sock hops! …jazz crooners … the Synchromaids at the YWCA kicking it all off with their Esther Williams spins and twirls in the Y pool – pre-Linda Cavioli. This, like all kiddie/family events, happened in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.
First Night Buttons cost around $5. One year I saw BILL MORRISSEY ♥️ AND Patty Larkin in Mechanics Hall! But usually, we got – and loved – the hometown spin. Back then Worcester had a ton of local rock, pop, punk, folk and cover bands – they played all over Worcester County every weekend to devoted fans. Now my best friend, back home from college, my sister and I heard and danced to them all! Walking in the cold, down our Main Street lit up and shiny as the City could make it, sometimes with snow sprinkling down on us, with scores and scores of couples, families and single revelers, horns in hands, dime-store top hats on bald heads doing the same thing … We walked/ran down Main Street feeling energized, jazzed … happy in community.
Midnight on the steps at the old Worcester Auditorium – the light show, the beams of yellow and pink light criss-crossing the cobalt Worcester sky. A few couples uncorked their champagne, the countdown, the cheers, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! and then, at 12:01, like the frugal, practical Worcesterites we were, we all turned around and scurried back to cars … for home.