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First Night Worcester Fireworks to Launch After All

Worcester, MA (December 21, 2009) - In the spirit of giving, local corporate partner Polar Beverages has generously come forward to fund the fireworks celebration for First Night Worcester 2010.

"We are ecstatic and thrilled by Polar's generosity," said Executive Director Joyce Kressler. "First Night Worcester is the second-oldest New Year's Eve celebration in the world and the reason this long-standing tradition continues is because of citizens and corporations like the Crowley family and Polar Beverages that continue to support the work that we do year-round in celebration of the arts."

Polar's $15,000 contribution will fund two fireworks displays produced by Atlas Pyro Vision Productions. The first will take place around 6:30 PM for families with children, the other at midnight to ring in the New Year. The first set of fireworks will take place at the culmination of the Community Procession, which will begin at the Worcester Art Museum at 6:00 PM, and end at the base of the Worcester Memorial Auditorium at Lincoln Square. There, children will also have an opportunity to join in the fun and make their own fireworks on a giant carpet of bubble wrap donated by UPS.

The midnight celebration will be moved from Lincoln Square to Worcester City Hall on the Common, located at 455 Main Street. Beginning at 11:30 PM prior to the fireworks, attendees can write their New Year's resolutions on wish sticks that will be burned in large fire pits called Resolution Fires. Fire jugglers will also be performing on the Common and the countdown in New York City's Times Square will be simulcast on a large screen for attendees to watch.

When it was reported last week that the fireworks display would not happen this year due to a decrease in funding and a lack of sponsors, there was an immediate positive response from the public and private sectors with increased support for First Night Worcester, a non-profit organization that produces the entire event.

Worcester City Manager Michael V. O'Brien approached President and CEO Ralph Crowley about possible solutions for saving the fireworks. Mr. Crowley didn't hesitate and offered to fund the fireworks in its entirety.

"I am not surprised by Ralph's response," said City Manager O'Brien. "The Crowley family and Polar Beverages are shining examples of all that is good about Worcester. They believe in our community and in the causes they support. This is great news and a wonderful indicator of even more good things to come in the New Year."

"Polar Beverages and the Crowley Family realize that 2009 has been a difficult year for many," said Mr. Crowley. "First Night Worcester is a traditional family event which has always featured two fireworks' displays. We are delighted that we are able to help put them back on the program."

In addition, First Night Worcester will showcase eight continuous hours of music and performances by the area's most exciting, hottest and hippest talent in more than 20 venues around the city.

Buttons are admission to all performances and activities. Buttons are available at CVS, Price Chopper and other retail locations. They are on sale for only $8.00 until Christmas, after which the price increases to $12 until December 31st or will be available at the event for $15. Children 10 and under are free.

More information is available at www.firstnightworcester.org.

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