Things to do in the New Bedford area on New Years Eve

NEW BEDFORD – Jugglers, giant puppets, fire-breathing waders, the Whaling City will be full of festivities to celebrate the end of the year on Friday.

Among the many acts, longtime performers of “The Toe Jam Puppet Group, “” Mr. Vinny’s Bubble Guys & Gals “and”Miracle Fish Puppets”Are back and ready to entertain the city.

“We’re thrilled,” said Vinny Lovegrove, owner of the three performance art pieces. “Last year was a failure, not being able to play was a tough break. We’re very happy to be back.”

According to Lovegrove, all of her group were born at St. Luke’s Hospital and have roots in New Bedford. They are now spread around Dartmouth, Freetown, Marion and Falmouth.

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“It’s all very interactive, very silly, very loud, very energetic, and we get the kids moving,” Lovegrove said. “It creates an opportunity to make a group of strangers maybe feel connected.”

In 1993, “Miracle Fish Puppets” had its first performance at New Year’s Eve celebration in New Bedford. It takes its name from the interpretation of the fable “A fisherman and his wife” and features a giant fish puppet made of wire mesh and flashing Christmas lights.

While the original fish won’t make an appearance, a 15-foot-tall puppet named Jasper, King of the Ragdolls, will be walking around downtown as part of “The city in celebration! New Years Eve 2021!“event organized by Destination New Bedford.

All events are free admission.

The Fishing Heritage Center will welcome the Toe Jam Puppet Band outside at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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Lovegrove and her partner, Tom Poitras, will present a “Toe Jam Variety Show” with their hit song “Green Light A-Go-Go” and host a hoop competition.

Since 2000, the Toe Jam Puppet Band has had the luxury of performing 250 times a year across New England. Lovegrove says New Bedford is blessed with a cultural diversity that attracts not only local artists, but people from outside the state as well.

Jasper King of the Ragdolls, the current embodiment of the miracle fish that will be presented at New Bedford's

“Over the past 20 years or more, I have just seen that history, culture and the arts are getting really a lot of support,” he said. “A very encouraging place to be an artist.”

New Year’s Eve kicks off at Buttonwood Park Zoo

From 10 o’clock, Buttonwood Park Zoo bids farewell to the past year with a family celebration of “Noon’s New Year’s Eve” which includes a dance party with DJ Danny Levin, Mr. Bubble Man and animal encounters with Zoo ambassadors.

“I hope that at the zoo, they continue to enjoy the wildlife they can conserve until 2022,” said Keith Lovett, director of Buttonwood Park Zoo.

A Fennec Fox at the Buttonwood Park Zoo poses with a "Merry Christmas" sign in its habitat.

Similar to 2020, according to Lovett, 2021 has been another difficult year due to the pandemic. However, the community continued to embrace the zoo.

“The dedication of the zoo’s staff and volunteers has made its programs more impactful than ever,” Lovett added.

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At noon, the zoo will ring in the New Year at Buttonwood Farm / Nature Playground with a sparkling apple juice toast.

Lovett says he hopes the zoo will continue to expand its impact in the community, in 2022, and further increase its conservation education programs and be the go-to place where people can connect with nature.

As for animals, they may not conceptualize the past and the future the way humans do, Lovett said, but they are aware of the end of the human calendar year.

“The animals are very aware that we are now in the winter where the weather is colder and the days shorter,” he said. “And as such, behaviors and, in some cases, bodily conditions change, in order to better adapt to the season.”

What to do in “City Celebrate!” “

The city in celebration! officially launches at 5:00 p.m. at Wings Court & Custom House Square, DJ Anghelli will play music until 8 p.m.

There will be fire juggling, hula hooping and other daring fire dance numbers from Circus of Light. This year, a “fire dancing duo” will make their debut at the event.

Artist of the Cirque de Lumière Feu.

“The Cirque de Lumière has been performing since 2015!” said owner Liz Knights. “We love to come back every year and the New Bedford public are always very engaged and ready to have fun with us.”

Knights says she expects cold weather on Friday night, but luckily the fire performances will keep the audience warm.

“The art experience is different for everyone, but we hope that the performances make people feel something, whether they feel enchanted, happy, energized or inspired,” added Knights.

At New Bedford Art Museum / Works of Art!, Jedlie’s Magic Circus presents a Family Magic Workshop at 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.

At Seamen’s Bethel, guests can enjoy harpist Eva MacFarlane from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Elsa, Ana and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen “ will make a surprise appearance at the Fishing Heritage Center.

Artist of the Cirque de Lumière Feu.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., a hot chocolate will be served at Zeiterion Penler space, Guests can also experience the “Fortune Teller”, a living work of art by Ten31 Productions, a living snow globe and wading birds Extraordinary arts near.

The evening will end with a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. on the waterfront near the State Pier.

Where to count until midnight

Although all of the planned festivities end around 8 p.m., there are several places to go to continue the celebration.

White’s of Westport hosts New Years Eve celebration buffet with two DJs in two different rooms. One DJ plays old school hits and the other plays today’s hottest hits.

A ticket gives access to both evenings as well as to the large filet buffet and the Chinese buffet after midnight.

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Joe’s original in Dartmouth and The right whale will have a fixed multi-course meal served throughout the night.

AT Cisco Brewers, they release a “beach ball” every hour from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. while it is midnight in other countries. They will serve cocktails to celebrate with two bands scheduled to perform.


The Vault celebrates the New Year Style “Studio 54” with DJ Mud Foot & Kaoss. There will be a 360 photo booth, free giveaways, a backdrop for photos and a midnight champagne toast. It is recommended to dress in a vintage outfit.

Ryan’s sports pub and pool table at 500 Hathaway Road will feature a pub-style buffet and champagne toast at midnight. There will also be a DJ and karaoke with nasty weezy.

the Oriental Pearl will celebrate all night long with the hosts John and Marlena from Boomerang – a country and classic rock band – from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Marvin perry will happen at Fathoms Bar & Grill at 20 hours The place will dance the night away from 9pm to 2am with DJ Nicole Lopes.

“There’s going to be a lot of time in the winter when we might not be able to get together,” Lovegrove said.

“I hope this will support everyone a bit.”

Standard-Times writer Seth Chitwood can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

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