Springfield Area Arts Council

Downtown New Year’s Eve will sparkle both in the skies and on Hoogland Center stages for the 36th annual First Night® Springfield.

This family-friendly celebration of the arts is co-produced this year by Springfield Area Arts Council and Hoogland Center for the Arts.  The City of Springfield is adding the annual fireworks spectacular.

These December 31st entertainments have been enjoyed by tens of thousands in our town since 1987.  It is the longest-running First Night west of the Alleghenies.

Downtown Springfield once again will celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, entertainment, and fun for all. First Night® Springfield is being co-produced by the Springfield Area Arts Council and the Hoogland Center for the Arts. The City of Springfield is adding the annual fireworks spectacular.

From 6:00 to 10:30 P.M., many performances will roll out inside the Hoogland Center. Already
signed up to perform are David Cain, Capital Big Band, Capital City Improv, Central Illinois Irish Dancers, Mark Gifford, The Muni, Springfield International Folk Dancers, Springfield Theater Center, Zwie Damm Clowns, and more.

Sangamon Watercolor Society will exhibit members’ work in the main floor gallery.

Light refreshments will be available during both afternoon and evening in the Hoogland Center lobby.

Performances will take place on several stages inside the Hoogland Center’s spacious four floors.  Guests will receive detailed schedules and maps upon arrival.

Fireworks will begin at 10:00 P.M.

People are invited to gather at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Fourth Street for the show.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

$5 for Children

$20 for Adults

Admission available at the door or online at www.hcfta.org/tickets.

Call 217-753-3519 for information.


Once again, younger folks are invited for interactive activities free of charge from 1:00 to 2:45 P.M. on New Year’s Eve at the Hoogland Center.  

Afternoon crafts will be provided by Garvey-Tubman Center, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lowe’s, and Sangamon Watercolor Society.

Hoogland Education Program, Lincoln Ring of Magicians, Sangamon Valley Chord Company, Springfield Dance Company, and others will perform.

No pre-registration is required for this children’s event.

Another option for the afternoon:  The ice skating rink in Union Square Park will be open from 3:00 to 6:00.  It also is free and is sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.



Fireworks will begin at 10:00 P.M.  People are invited to gather at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Fourth Street for the show.  Director Walk expressed appreciation for the assistance of the Springfield public works, police, and fire departments. “They help with so much around town, whether we see it or not.”


In addition to free on-street parking, those attending First Night at the Hoogland Center can park in the garage next-door for no cost.



The generosity of those listed here enable us to pay performers and light\sound technicians, and we are ever-grateful. Please support those who support the arts.

Sponsor = $2,500

Julie and Bill Cellini
Ace Sign Company

Friend = $1,000

Laurie and David Farrell
Tom Ryder
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
The Autism Clinic at Hope

Supporter = $250-$500 

Bank of Springfield
Julie Dirksen
Grace and P. J. Nanavati    Phoenix Collision            Solomon Colors

Donor = $100

Tony DelGiorno, Attorney
Claire and Gus Gordon
Douglas Kamholz
Sheila Walk
Penny Wollan-Kriel