GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 29, 2012

Rockport ready to ring in another new year

In its sweet 16th year, the New Year’s Rockport Eve celebration promises to keep party goers rocking and rolling all night, with 85 musical performances at 16 different venues between 6 p.m. and midnight Monday and events for children and adults alike.

The $34,000 event this year will feature new acts like a rock and roll band with the sound system powered solely by bicycle-created energy, as well as a telescope lookout point hosted by the Gloucester Astronomy Club. And guests can expect some of their old favorites, as many of the bands have played at the event each year for the past 16 new year celebrations, according to Claire Franklin, the event’s founder and organizer.

“It changes but it doesn’t all change,” Franklin said. “Some of them have been coming the whole 16 years.”

A total of 49 musical groups will perform over the course of the night, according to Franklin, some playing multiple shows. After 16 years, Franklin hardly has to search for performers, she said; bands and singers have flocked to her hoping for a stage spot.

This year too, some of the most popular performers will play for an additional hour. The drum parade program that begins with an African drum lesson and ends in lesson participants parading their new musical skills, will run an additional hour this year, with workshops beginning each hour on the hour between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Anyone who wants to join in can. It’s a wonderful event,” Franklin said.

Those interested in attending may purchase a button to wear as an event ticket at one of six locations up to the day of the event, including Rockport’s Smith Hardware & Lumber, John Tarr Store, and Toad Hall Bookstore, as well as Gloucester’s Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, House of Raven, and Gloucester Music. Buttons can be purchased on New Year’s Eve at the event headquarters at Spiran Hall, where food and souvenirs are sold, from noon until 11 p.m. Buttons for adults cost $15 and for children ages 3 to 12 the cost per button is $6. And, New Years Rockport Eve is always open to accepting donations.

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