Release Date: Friday, November 13th 2009
First Night button brings extra savings this year
By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer
POSTED: 07:24 p.m. EST, Nov 13, 2009
Buying a button to Akron's First Night celebration brings an extra perk this year: discounts at many local establishments.
The Downtown Akron Partnership announced Friday that First Night button holders can get buy one-get one tickets at the Akron Civic Theatre, a free appetizer with the purchase of $20 at the Barley House Restaurant and $5 off a $25 purchase at the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Summit Mall.
More than 20 discount offers are available, and more businesses are signing up, spokeswoman Lisa Knapp said of the event that the Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors.
At a news conference Friday, she unveiled the agenda for this year's 14th annual party and the artsy First Night button participants must buy to be admitted to the events.
This year's button was designed by Julienne Hogarth, an art teacher for Akron Public Schools who was selected by other First Night button artists.
Knapp said this year's First Night will cover a smaller area than those of the past to improve navigation between venues in Akron's uncertain weather. Last year's event had 18 venues; this year, it will have 10.
She said a survey of more than 800 people concluded that ''guests preferred to watch a wide variety of entertainment rather than spend time traveling to different venues.''
Still, more than 90 artists and projects — the same number as years past — will be available for the family-friendly, no-alcohol event spread throughout downtown Akron.
''You've never seen First Night like this before,'' Knapp promised, as every artist will present something new — from dances to songs to interactive projects.
Mayor Donald Plusquellic said that while city events have been trimmed because of the economy, the Chriskindl Market will return with three vendors from Akron's sister city of Chemnitz, Germany.
They have chosen to come on their own, without city support, to sell hand-made items, Plusquellic said. Meanwhile, the city is seeking nonprofit groups to sell wares at the cottages near the city ice-skating rink at Lock 3 Park.
Other city holiday-related events will include the opening of the rink at Lock 3 at 11 a.m. Nov. 21, tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 and Welcome Santa Parade at noon Nov. 28.
To take advantage of a First Night discount, residents must be wearing or carrying the button.
Merchants who will honor the button include the Peanut Shoppe in downtown Akron, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Max and Erma's restaurant in Fairlawn and the Green Diamond Grille and Pub in Barberton. Some restrictions may apply.
First Night buttons can be bought starting Nov. 27 at area businesses and via http://www.firstnightakron.org. Cost is $10.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.