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Middletown Hosts Middnight On Main 2011 December 31 From 3 Till Midnight

New Year's Eve In Palm Of Your Hand

Middletown Patch
By Cassandra Day

Middnight on Main is looking to give First Night Hartford a run for its money.

After 23 years of the capitol city’s reign over New Year’s Eve city-wide bashes, a group of Middletown folks spearheaded a celebration of its own.

Sponsored by the Community Health Center, the city of Middletown and many others, the nine-hour, alcohol-free family event features 100 performers in 12 venues spread out over four downtown blocks.

“We’re trying to redefine and reinvent what First Night and New Year’s Eve Day celebrations have been,” said Community Health Center CEO Mark Masselli. “I think we struck a nice balance.”

With headliners like SteveSongs, Japanese Taiko drumming, Barefoot Truth, and Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, cooking classes, film screenings, comedy, contra dance, zydeco, poetry, ice sculpture, roller skating and more — you’d be forgiven for being overwhelmed.

So today, a free, jazzy new app for iTunes and Android was introduced.

“It’s a great way to navigate a very complicated evening,” Masselli said.

Indeed. The app is — well, genius.

“This is the first world-class app in the world of First Nights,” he explained excitedly.

Masselli acknowledges people find the evening’s panopoly of offerings a tad off-putting — especially for parents who want to take in a film noir and the kids who want to see a break dance demo.

“You can build a schedule: it’s so nice,” Masselli said. “It breaks down performers by genre and each is listed with a photo. You can map yourself to that performance, put it right into your schedule. No matter when you do it, it’s chronological and lines them up: 2, 5 and 6 [p.m.] and prompts you.”

And although there will be a colorful brochure available as well onsite, with the app, Masselli said, “You don’t have to carry around paper [unless you are] technically challenged.”

On Dec. 31, there will be Tweets of performances coming up, Masselli said. “So you can see, ‘oh, they’re slamming over there,’” and head over.

The live Twitter feed and a GPS-enabled walking guide will make it easy to navigate from venue to venue. Event goers can download the free app now to start receiving important updates as they happen.

“The app is really quite elegant it allows you to move through it nicely,” he explained. It even offers where goods restaurants are in town.

“The program committee, they’re all geniuses,” Masselli said. “They struggled and battled for each performer, [deciding] who would really strike a chord among a group of people of different ages.” And they came up with “a really eclectic selection of performers,” Masselli said.

Fireworks will go off at 6 p.m. on Main Street so young kids can enjoy them. These are no ordinary pyrotechnics.

“They’re a new type that’s sometimes used indoors in places like Las Vegas,” Masselli said, “called ‘close proximity,’ which disintegrate,” as opposed to aerial shells.

Additional features of the Middnight app include a homepage countdown clock, a full listing of the evening’s events; a “MySchedule” function; push notifications; a GPS-enabled parking lot locator; and event map that provides a quick glance at button sales locations, venue locations, performance times, parking, bus stops, ATMs and more.

Users will receive push notifications on the night of the event, 15 minutes prior to each performance or activity that is saved to MySchedule as a reminder that the event is starting.

The app can be downloaded by visiting Middnight.org and clicking on the links provided on the home page. Apple iPhone users can get the app here; Android phone users can download the app here.

Middletown's 'Middnight On Main' To Feature 100 Performances - The Hartford Courant

The first-ever city-wide New Year's Eve celebration — Middnight on Main — will include more than 100 performances in 12 venues, fireworks, a film festival, speed dating, food trucks and many family activities.

The Community Health Center and several other organizations created the event this year to give city residents a place to celebrate.

Middnight on Main will run from 3 p.m. until midnight, and will include a fireworks display at 6p.m. from the roof of a building at the corner of Main and Washington streets.

Community Health Center CEO Mark Masselli said the New Year's Eve celebration will begin a recognition of the company's 40th anniversary in 2012. He said the CHC is committed to Middletown, and wanted to include the city in its celebration.

"This comes from two things: No. 1, a deep love of the city of Middletown. It's a great community always on the rise," Masselli said. "And No. 2, our Main Street is really great. It's a Main Street that is accessible and has lots of great places to eat. For the people who get here, they're always surprised."

PBS Kids singer SteveSongs, Mystic-based band Barefoot Truth and Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams will play music during the night. Other performances, stories, workshops, dances, crafts, cooking, film and children's entertainment will be offered along Main Street throughout the event.

The common council contributed $10,000 to help fund the event in August, and became one of the sponsors. Other sponsors include the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Wesleyan University, the Downtown Business District, the North End Action Team, the Middletown Eye, Oddfellows Playhouse, the Green Street Arts Center, Kidcity Children's Museum, Triple Frog, the Buttonwood Tree, Pratt & Whitney and the Centerplan Companies.

A free iPhone and Android application called "Middnight on Main" was available Friday, and includes a countdown, a list of events by category and the locations of each activity. Anyone who uses the application can plan an itinerary and get directions to each activity.

Anyone attending the event can buy a Middnight on Main button, which allows entry into all events and venues for one price. Buttons cost $16 for adults until Dec. 25, and $20 after Dec. 25. Buttons for children cost $10.

Buttons are available online or at It's Only Natural Market, New England Emporium, Kidcity and the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. For more information and a full schedule of events go to www.middnight.org.

Party on Main - Nearly 5,000 expected to attend inaugural Middnight on Main, an up-and-coming family and community tradition
The Chronicle
By Karen M. Rider, Chronicle Staff Writer

When the bells ring in 2012 on New Year's Eve, it will mark the beginning of a new, family and community tradition in Middletown. Middnight on Main is an alcohol- free celebration with unique activities for revelers of all ages, centered in the city's historic downtown. From 3 p.m. to midnight, at indoor venues up and down Main Street, performances and participatory events will include musicians and bands, comedians, roller-skating, storytellers, workshops, crafts, cookery, film and dancing — from breakdancing to salsa and everything in between. Two extravaganza moments are the rooftop fireworks at 6 p.m. and a dazzling performance by Japanese Taiko drummers at 11:30 p.m., followed by a bell-ringing to involve everyone in attendance when the clock strikes midnight.

“The idea is to create a celebration where visitors will be walking all over downtown, watching great performances and participating in activities, while also enjoying great Main Street restaurants. Some of our biggest attractions are Barefoot Truth, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams. We’re also very excited to have the Harry Potter-themed Wizard Rock band called ‘Swish & Flick’ and SteveSongs from PBS Kids,” said Jen Alexander, a volunteer for the event and director of Kidcity Children’s Museum.

“We’ve packed over 100 shows into just four blocks, so if rock n’ roll or kid’s tunes aren’t quite your speed, you can enjoy opera arias, classical music, or maybe find your ‘true love’ at one of our Speed Dating sessions — that part is just for grownups,” added Lucy McMillan, Event Coordinator, who expects attendance will reach 5,000 people.

Middnight on Main is a new organization and a community project with many partners at the table, spearheaded by Hosting Sponsor, Community Health Center. The timing of the event is important to CHC, as 2012 marks its 40th anniversary providing primary health care for underserved and uninsured populations.

“We are thrilled to have the ability to bring a family friendly event of this caliber to the city of Middletown,” said Mark Masselli, President and CEO of CHC. “What better way to ring in the New Year and to celebrate CHC’s decades of caring service for citizens and our health and wellness initiatives in the school system. The New Year also marks a new era of service in a new, green facility which CHC will open on Main Street in the Spring of 2012.” If you haven’t visited downtown Middletown recently, you’ll be impressed by the vibrancy of its offerings. The city offers art venues, historical and cultural sites and an array of restaurants that appeal to every palate and dining style: traditional American fare, Asian, Greek, Indian, Thai and Fusion are just a few.

Many businesses and organizations from across the city have banded together to insure the success of Middnight On Main including, the City of Middletown, Middletown Police and Fire Departments, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Wesleyan University, Downtown Business District, North End Action Team, The Middletown Eye, Oddfellows Playhouse, Green Street Arts Center, Kidcity Children's Museum, Triple Frog, and The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center.

In addition to Community Health Center, funding sponsors include Pratt & Whitney and Centerplan Companies (gold level); City of Middletown (silver level), Wesleyan University (bronze level), with additional assistance from Liberty Bank, Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, AR Mazzotta Employment Specialists and MiddleOak

Click here to download the article from The Chronicle

Yes, Those Were Fireworks on Main Street - Middletown Eye

If you happened to be on the corner of Main and Washington Street Friday evening at about 8:30 pm, you may have noticed a very brief fireworks display launched from the roof of the building at the Southwest corner of the intersection.

You weren't imagining pyrotechnics. This was a test and preview of rooftop fireworks that will be featured as part of the Middnight on Main celebration this coming New Year's Eve.

The fireworks vendor, and the fire department wanted to test the viability of a fireworks launch from a downtown rooftop, and the test was successful. The display for New Year's Eve will be much longer and more elaborate.

At the Middnight on Main celebration the fireworks display will take place at 6PM so that families can celebrate the event together.

Middnight Fireworks Coverage - NBC30

Planning For City's First New Year's Eve Event Underway

MIDDLETOWN — Fourteen venues on Main Street will provide live entertainment for the city's first–ever New Year's Eve celebration, according to the organizers of Middnight on Main.

Music, dancing, films, cooking and sword–swallowing will be part of the event, created by Community Health Center CEO Mark Masselli.

He said Middnight on Main could draw up to 5,000 people — a boon for restaurants and businesses and a way to showcase the city's attractions.

The common council has pledged $10,000 this week to co–sponsor the event.

"Some of us might have gone to other communities [for similar events]," Masselli said. "Every time we go to these other communities we think 'Boy, Middletown would be a great place to have a New Year's Eve celebration.'"

He said the celebration would include fireworks set off from the roof of a Main Street building and a midnight bell–ringing.

Jennifer Alexander, founder of Kidcity Children's Museum, said performances will include Steve Songs of PBS Kids, jugglers, sword swallowers, classical music, Brazilian music, West African drummers, Indonesian dancers, films, cooking demonstrations and author talks.

"It's going to bring out people from all walks of life," Alexander said.

Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said the city's costs would mostly include overtime for city employees for cleanup after the event, and some police overtime.

"It's my hope that we can do this without much more [police staffing] than we put on the street on New Year's Eve in any event," Giuliano said. "By 6 o'clock on New Year's Eve everybody is pretty much where they're going to be already."

He said the first event will be a trial run, and an annual celebration would be much easier to plan and budget for after the first time.

About 20 businesses, organizations and churches will host at least one related activity during the event, said Lucy McMillan, one of the organizers.

She said the group still needs volunteers, and all volunteers will get free entry.

Admission will be $16 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children.

"We expect to fill up every bit of parking downtown and we hope that's going to benefit the restaurants," Masselli said. "I hope everyone welcomes in the new year in Middletown."

Common Council OKs $10,000 for Middnight on Main

MIDDLETOWN — The Common Council voted Monday evening to be a co–sponsor for the Middnight on Main New Year’s festivities.

The event, scheduled to run through the afternoon and evening on Dec. 31, was announced last month with a sneak peek at this winter’s celebrations. The city will contribute $10,000 for the event and block off traffic on Main Street between Washington and Court streets.

Council members pointed to the potential economic benefit of having people visit Middletown’s downtown area and seeing what it has to offer.

Organizers Lucy McMillan, Jennifer Alexander and Mark Masselli outlined their plans for the New Year’s celebration. Fourteen stages will be set up throughout the downtown, with different performances and interactive activities at each. Masselli said he estimates between 3,000 and 5,000 people will come to Middletown for the festivities. The event will feature fireworks at 6:15 p.m., so young children have a chance to see them before bedtime.

“It’s really going to be something that brings out people from all walks of life,” Alexander said.

Volunteer are still needed to help run the event, and information about the festivities is available at http://middnight.org, McMillan said.

Councilman David Bauer said that while he supports the event, he questions why the city is supporting the New Year’s event after it didn’t host Independence Day fireworks for two years in a row.

“Where is the money coming from?” Bauer asked.

Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said the police and fire departments wouldn’t incur double-time costs for working on the holiday, as they would have staff working anyway. Only members of the city’s Local 466 union would be paid overtime, but Giuliano said he hopes the city will be able to run the event with minimal staff.

“If an appropriation is required, then we’re going to have to come forward with one,” he said. “My hope is that we can do this without much more than we put on the street at any event. We’ve got nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work, we’ll know.”

Middletown really is unique in terms of what it offers to the community, Councilman Gerald Daley said.

“It’s time that we do these things for the citizens of Middletown,” Majority Leader Thomas Serra said.

PBS Kids' Star, SteveSongs Delights Middletown Kids at Preview Performance - Middletown Patch

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Community Health Center Unveils City's New Year's Eve Fest - Middletown Patch

SteveSongs, Taiko Drummers and Trevor the Games Man performed a sample of what families can expect at Middnight on Main 2012. The Community Health Center introduced Middletown's first New Year's Eve celebration Thursday — Middnight on Main 2012 — at the Church of the Holy Trinity lawn, with a Japanese drumming performance, a PBS Kids star SteveSongs concert, Trevor the Games Man and a ceremonial ringing of the church bells. The festival will span Middletown's Main Street with family-friendly, alcohol-free cultural and arts performances on Dec. 31 from 3 p.m. to midnight, including fireworks, taiko percussion with the world-reknowned ensemble KODO, the folk, rock, jazz band Barefoot Truth of Mystic, magician Johnny Fox, and Wesleyan University graduate and nationally known children's musician, Steve Roslonek. The purchase of a special button will allow entrance to other events — all within walking distance — such as stories, workshops, dance, crafts, cookery and film at venues including the MAC 650 Art Space, the Green Street Arts Center, Vinnie's Jump and Jive, Kidcity Children's Museum, Middletown Roller Rink and the Buttonwood Tree. More than 100 volunteers are sought to help with the event.

Middletown gets jump start on New Year's celebration planning - The Middletown Press

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Middletown to give sneak peek of New Year's Eve celebration - Eyewitness News Channel 3

Summer may just be getting started but officials in Middletown are already getting ready for New Year's Eve 2012. Officials from the Community Health Center will give the Middletown community a sneak peek of Middnight on Main 2012 on Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thousands of people are expected to attend the celebration, and people will visit dozens of downtown stages, churches, theaters and other public spaces. When bells ring to mark the start of 2012, it will also mark the beginning of the new Middnight on Main tradition in Middletown. Middnight on Main is an alcohol-free celebration with unique activities for revelers of all ages, centered in the city's historic downtown. With performances and participatory events up and down Main Street, guests will find stories, songs, workshops, dance, crafts, cookery, film and entertainment of all kinds. The preview on Thursday will feature special sneak peeks at some of the event performers, including SteveSongs, Trevor the Games Man, Taiko Drummers and others. The event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the Church of the Holy Trinity on Main Street.