Prepping For Binghamton's First Night

By James Wilcox

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 4, 2006 at 3:14 PM EDT

In just two days, downtown Binghamton will come alive as thousands fill the streets for First Night.
It's an annual New Year's event that celebrates the arts, without consuming alcohol.
And organizers say this year promises to be one of the best yet.
"It's just a huge, huge variety and there's absolutely something there for everybody to pick out and choose and come to and enjoy," says Ellen Kodadek of the First Night.
But putting on an event like this isn't easy.
Volunteers work all year long preparing and planning.
Now they're busy putting on the finishing touches.
"Odds and ends. Stuff that has to be done. Last minute things," says Kodadek.
Last minute things like sorting these boxes of t-shirts, and delivering all this bottled water.
That job goes to volunteers like Rod Rhynehart.
He comes all the way from Massachusets to help with First Night.
Rod has family in the area, and volunteers while visiting over the holidays.
"It's a lot of fun. It's different, and I enjoy watching it all come together on New Years Eve," says Rhynehart.
Come Saturday, communication will be key for first night staff and volunteers. Walkie talkies are one way the more than 300 volunteers will stay connected thought the 27 different first night locations.
"I'm on our technical and production staff which means I run around to all the sites, make sure all the sound is working, that all the people running the sites have what they need," says volunteer Jeremy Pranes.
And because of these volunteers, you'll have everything you need to have a fun and alcohol free New Years Eve.
Again, First Night Binghamton is this Saturday, New Years Eve.
Buttons to get you into all events are on sale now for 10 dollars at all Giant Markets.
For a full list of first night events log on to www.stcelebrates.org.

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