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San Francisco First Night.

San Francisco First Night

A safe, sane, and sober alternative is how the directors of First Night San Francisco introduced it, but that's just part of the story. The New Year's Eve event lets you choose from an impressive array of music and dance performances scattered over 20 unusual city settings. You can see some of the best local performers, from rock, opera, and chamber music to jazz and ethnic dance, but, perhaps best of all, you can sample any number of these performances using the same $10 ticket.

Already, this liquor-free alternative to traditional New Year's Eve bashes has spread to 11 cities from its Boston start 11 years ago. Last year, San Francisco became the first West Coast city to try it. Around 20,000 people showed up for the melange of events--and planners expect a much bigger turnout this year.

Seating is unreserved, so be sure to arrive early for best viewing. The entertainment continues from noon to midnight (different times in different places). Many performances take place within the Fort Mason Center, off Marina Boulevard.

Celebrants last year dressed more for warmth than for style. Their patience outlasted long lines and first-time confusions. In our own outing, from a buffet of evening events we chose Bobby McFerrin in a church, a showing of classic cartoons at a movie house, and blues in a grade school at midnight.

Unfortunately, shuttle buses will not be running between venues this year (as they did last time), but many sites are within walking distance of each other.

Firm details of the program had not been set by our press deadline; for a current update, call (415) 885-1399. Tickets are available at the door or through BASS and STBS outlets.

Photo: Just before dusk at Ghirardelli Square last year, the Magnolia Jazz Band kicked off First Night with tuxedos and brass; later in the evening, modern dancers of the Dance Brigade (left) were among a few dance groups spotlighted (this year will offer more)

Photo: Pete Escovedo on conga drums closed First Night with a bang at a drafty Fort Mason warehouse--it's also this year's big place to wind up the night
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:First Night San Francisco's New Year's Eve party
Date:Jan 1, 1988
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