Thousands attend First Night Buffalo New Year's Eve Party

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-01 15:37:48-05

It's the last ride of 2016. From small roller coasters, to trains, to bouncy castles, First Night Buffalo is a New Year's Eve celebration that's been around for 28 years.

"It's kind of like a fun tradition with my family!" said 12-year-old Kayleen DiCarlo, who has attended the celebration for about five years with her family.

It's a celebration families have experienced for years at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

"Oh goodness, we've done this every year for four or five years," said Vincent DiCarlo, Kayleen's father.

They're not the only family making this a tradition.

"I have been coming for about 17 years," said Holli Caldwell. "It's been a tradition now since my daughter was born, who's 17."

More than 5,000 Western New Yorkers attending First Night Buffalo, to take in the last hours of the year.

"We try to step it up each year," said Carrie Meyer, Executive Director of the Independent Health Foundation. "We bring out the family traditions but then there's always something new and exciting for everyone to see."

While coming here to spend New Year's Eve has been a yearly tradition for many families, it's a newer one for others.

"We'll have this to treasure from now on!" said Diane Jackson, who attended Saturday night with her grandkids for her second year.

The Jackson family now making it their 'new' New Year's Eve annual celebration.

"Oh, I'm having a wonderful time!" said Jackson. 

Enjoying what First Night Buffalo says is the largest drug and alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration in Western New York.

"This will put them to bed and they'll have pleasant dreams of a good time at First Night," said Jackson, referring to her grandkids.

The last ride of 2016, but the beginning of many more.