Saratoga New Year’s Fest: Ring in the New Year with Fireworks, Family, and Fantastic Music

The Saratoga New Year’s Fest, spanning Dec. 29 to Jan. 1, is anticipated to be the grandest New Year’s celebration north of Times Square, promising an uninterrupted weekend of entertainment. 

This event is expected to attract a vast crowd of both locals and tourists to Saratoga Springs. Expectations are as high as 10,000 for visitors to downtown, with an estimated third buying the festival’s badge, allowing them to enter the various concert venues. 

Last year, adjustments were made to the timing of the fireworks to make the event more family-friendly. 

Joan Osborne
Joan Osborne Photo by Andrzej Pilarcyzk

“First Night used to do fireworks at midnight. We changed it to 6 p.m. and it worked gloriously. Parents can actually bring the kids to fireworks,” said the festival’s Lead Producer, Robert Millis of The 398 Group. Millis works closely alongside founding partners, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Discover Saratoga, Saratoga Springs City Center, and the City of Saratoga Springs. 

A portion of the profits from this year’s festival will be donated to Shelters of Saratoga. Millis referenced his committee’s desire to give back, “we wanted to be more of a community partner. We wanted to show the community that this is just more than having fun. This is more than just tourism. This is more than just bringing a couple thousand people to hotel rooms or 10,000 people to the fireworks. A piece of every ticket and some other considerations is going to go directly to Shelters of Saratoga.”

The anticipated crowd-favorite event will feature a concert and fireworks display at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Sponsored by Death Wish Coffee and Druthers, the fireworks are set to illuminate the skies from the City Center parking garage. For the best viewing experience, attendees should gather at Ellsworth Jones Place, where family-friendly entertainment will kick off at 5 p.m.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Robert Randolph & the Family Band Photo by Eric Gleason

Reflecting on the feedback from last year, Millis emphasizes the renewed focus on family and kids’ engagement in this year’s celebration. “People were disappointed that we got away from the kids and family aspect [last year],” he says. Assurances have been made for more child-oriented activities during the day and early evening. “This is all part of a three-year plan. We’ve committed to each other for three years to make this thing get bigger, bigger over three years.”

In continuation with last year’s trend, the fest will host national acts, solidifying The Saratoga New Year’s Fest as a significant destination event. This move aims to attract audiences beyond the local bar crowd, appealing to individuals seeking a main event experience.

Headlining the event will be acclaimed artist Joan Osborne, a seven-time Grammy nominee known for her exceptional vocals and the multi-platinum album “Relish.” Joining her on the City Center stage will be the celebrated Robert Randolph Band, renowned for its eclectic blend of blues, rock, and gospel, guaranteeing a vibrant performance. Adding to this stellar lineup is DJ Logic, whose innovative and genre-blending beats have earned him a reputation as a trailblazer in the world of electronic and hip-hop music. Together, these three artists promise an unforgettable celebration to ring in the New Year.

Adding a regional touch to the event will be The Gibson Brothers, celebrated as Bluegrass Entertainers of the Year on two occasions. Their acclaimed bluegrass and country music performances are anticipated to be a festival highlight.

The Gibson Brothers Photo by Jim Gilbert

Additional performances include Dogs in a Pile, Organ Fairchild, Tracy Bonham, Toubab Krewe, Ward Hayden & the Outliers, and GA-20. Each artist, with their unique style, will add to the rich musical landscape, ensuring a diverse musical experience for every attendee. 

Millis also added that a dozen local performers will be added to the event in the months to come.

So, don’t miss this distinctive New Year celebration. Tickets are available at, and enjoy a variety of music and fireworks, promising a delightful commencement to the New Year.

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