by Michael Houston — DISCLAIMER – The author is a recovering teacher who entered the profession to promote human development, but he just atones for No Child Left Behind by working with arts non-profits. He is on the First Night board. All opinions expressed are his and nobody else’s fault.
FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY -THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!
As a man of the world and street busker who lives to set up impromptu rhythm bands composed of preschoolers, I strongly recommend, First Night Monterey!
¡Vengan amores, familias, niños and abuelos a, NightMonterey! Super alegre es!
Monday December 31 from 3pm to midnight, over 50 performances play Monterey’s Convention Center, Alvarado Street, the area around Colton Hall, and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey sites including Irvine Auditorium on Pierce Street. There are lots of free activities for all ages.
A BUTTON IS BETTER
True, you don’t need a button to march joyously, dig bands and dancers, all manner of public art, join the parade, and finally find life long personal happiness.
Stay healthy. Buttons get you out of the cold and into seats and onto dance floors. Buy buttons now at http://www.firstnightmonterey.org/BuyButtons/index.htm#PayPal- early bird pricing through December 9 and online until December 28 and pick them up at the First Night kiosks at the event. Buttons are available at stores and the event after the 28.
Buttons let you pick your First Night finale act to enjoy with your families and new and old friends.
GET A PROGRAM
There is too much to see and do without a program. This Foolish Times is just your tipster. Monterey County Weekly’s program will help you tailor and figure out which of the shows to catch.
LIVE STREAM YOUR IN-BODY EXPERIENCE TOO!
• AMP Media will live stream from the convention center at https://www.ampmedia.org.
• On Facebook, Kevin Armstead and Destination 831 crew will mobile stream on Destination 831, First Night Monterey, and Salinas Living Poetry and Prose pages
• On YouTube, Kevin will live stream on Destination 831 and PictureMonterey
VOLUNTEER – COLOR ME MONTEREY NEEDS YOU!
Volunteers make it all happen. The meetings are Saturday, December 8 at 3pm; Sunday, December 16 at 3pm; Thursday, December 27 at 6pm at the office at 542 Archer Street, in New Monterey. Get applications there or on the Web.
3:00 – OPENING CEREMONY – EL GRAN ENCUENTRO
The best mayor ever, Dan Albert, brings the globe together with greetings to all with Aztec Dancers and Shinsho Mugen Daiko on Pacific Street.
3:30 PM – KIDS NIGHT OUT!
Young and old can enjoy interactive art activities and folk music much better than I’ll ever do. Make your own personal head gear and diverse talent for free on the streets or indoors with a button family or otherwise.
5:30 – TWILIGHT PROCESSION
Dance troupes, lion dancers and you martigras down Alvarado St.
RIGHT UP TO 12:00 MIDNIGHT PERFORMANCES
Enjoy classical and country to Hip Hop, jazz to reggae, and dance venues. Here’s a partial list that made press time: Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen (Dan and Laurel), Joshua Lozoff and is wit and illusion to prove Life is Magic, Keith Greeinger and Band,Derek Bodkin’s Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble, La-Ti-Dah Dance Co.’s Amercan Tribal Style belly dance, Spector Dance, Kiki Wow & Fields of Eden,Samba Legal, Singing Wood Marimba, Bruce Guynn & Big Rain, Amy Warren,Guitars Not Guns, California Cowboys, The Coffis Brothers and the Mountain Men, Heart Strings, Flashpoint Aerial Show, Azahar Flaminco de Monterey, and Heartstrings. Expect more.
My picks? Life is filled with eclectic opportunities. As an Irish diaspora busker thrilled by every act they got, the Black Irish Band at Golden State Theater takes the biscuit.
MY BEST POET
Rosa Elena Espinosa Mendoza is on her fourth book for Salinas Living Poetry and Prose. As a survivor of many types of abuse and undiagnosed mental issues she has a beautifully kind and powerful response. Find her at the First Night poetry slam.
SEE IN THE NEW YEAR2019 A GRAND FINALE!
Speaking as a grandpa and your would-be-musician a half-step out of the gutter, “Art is the answer.” Celebrate wisely and ask yourself, “Can I risk 20 grand and jail time rather than join the family and kids in a scorn free zone?”