Boston can; why can't we?

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My husband and I have attended First Night in Boston several times. During Boston’s First Night, there are close to 1 million people roaming the streets of that city – walking everywhere, viewing artists’ displays, eating and attending dozens of free musical and theatrical venues.

The festival begins about noon and ends with fireworks over the harbor at midnight. There is no alcohol. In all the years we attended, the worst behavior we saw was a teenager climbing a tree to see the fireworks. A policeman made him climb down because the tree was too small to support his weight. Everyone is polite, enjoying the art, music, theater and camaraderie.

Despite the crowds, no one pushes you, and no one uses foul language; it is just lots of people, including families with small children, out to enjoy a great day in the city. When the fireworks are over, the subway is kept open late, and buses are lined up so everyone can head home. No one hangs around drinking, shooting each other, destroying property, etc.

Why is it that Boston and other cities around the country (see can do this year after year, but a small city such as Augusta cannot manage to put on First Fridays without drunken behavior, destruction of property and shootings?

Dianne Lackey


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allhans 07/10/12 - 01:29 am
You might have given us the

You might have given us the answer when you said "no alcohol".
That together with a different culture...

specsta 07/10/12 - 01:40 am
The Drunk Mentality

Alcohol ruins many, many things...

jackets55 07/10/12 - 05:17 am
Totally different events

After reading the "about us" entry on First Night's website, you will see there are multiple differences between what Boston is doing and First Friday's here in Augusta.

1. First Night is predominantly an arts event not a downtown business event.

2. First Night occurs only once per year in each city (New Year's Eve) not 12 times.

3. No alcohol makes a significant impact.

4. First Night is run by a non profit corporation with 3 full time employees which grows to upward of 150 prior to the event. As stated in the article, First Friday is not "produced", it just happens without leadership.

5. I believe access is controlled at First Night by means of a entrance fee

In addition the demographics of Boston and Augusta are not even close to the same.

agustinian 07/10/12 - 06:35 am
I've Been To Boston

Dear Ms. Lackey,
I've been to Boston and it ain't the nirvana you claim it is. I'll take Augusta.

TParty 07/10/12 - 09:23 am
First Night is not First

First Night is not First Friday.

Boston is not Augusta.

Plenty of drinking does occur in Boston.

Jane18 07/10/12 - 09:33 am
First Friday

Alcohol, disrespect, ignorance, stupidity from some people are several reasons Augusta has problems..................

David Parker
David Parker 07/10/12 - 11:06 am
"Guns don't kill people,

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people"

Insert Alcohol for the word "Guns" and the sentiment is the same. Just because we make a law that it's illegal to drive drunk and then someone does anyway and bad things happen, doesn't prompt our society to blame a liquid squeezed from a fruit or tater or wheat, etc.

If you see that point then drop any animosity toward alcohol, it's just pointless.

c'mon 5 o'clock!!!

Cameron Poe
Cameron Poe 07/10/12 - 01:05 pm
Misdirected Anger...

I hope that everyone, especially Ms. Lackey realize that alcohol was not the factor in the event which I am positive prompted and inspired this article. If any of you think that alcohol is to blame for the problems with First Friday and Downtown Augusta then you have severely misplaced your anger. Please, Ms. Lackey and anyone else who wants to use this as a soapbox issue to rail against alcohol, guns, the downtown culture, etc. reevaluate the facts of the situation. The real problem is we have allowed the trash to pile up in Augusta and the downtown authorities and no one on our city council has done anything about it. This is not a race or alcohol issue. Augusta has a character issue and that is exactly what this is. We need to push the low character individuals out and allow those in who will help Augusta prosper and downtown become the place we all know it can be.

cc1951 07/10/12 - 05:05 pm
While you CAN purchase , for

While you CAN purchase , for about $5, an entry button to wear at Boston's First Night, it is only required for a few of the more elaborate indoor productions. Everything else is free.

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