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Saratoga gears up for premiere New Year event

At 6 p.m., Brown's shuttle buses will transport revelers, though most of the route is easily walkable, throughout the enchanting downtown Saratoga Springs area.

Those wishing to experience the expanded First Night area in the quaint and artsy Beekman Street Arts District may walk a few short blocks west of Broadway, (or ride in the First Night Winter Wonder Wagon " a 30-seat wagon) to the city's newest and most "hip" neighborhood, featuring several art galleries, a magician and other entertainment, shops, and cafes.

Highlighting the night's entertainment will be the headline acts in the City Center, as perennial favorites The McKrells return, alternating with a very special guest and her band: Kate Taylor, sister of James Taylor, whose unique style will make for a most unforgettable experience.

Several groups will be returning to First Night Saratoga " back by popular demand, including Irish favorites Hair of the Dog, the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, Racing City Chorus, Aged in the Hills country band, and Civil War singers/re-enactors the 77th Regiment Balladeers. Swing dancers will "cut a rug" to the sounds of the Joey Thomas Big Band, and Vesper and Pinstripe Melee will rock the YMCA gym.

Some of the newly-added additions will be rockers Hector on Stilts, the Hamilton Hill Steel Drum Band, Heavenly Echoes Gospel Singers from Albany, and a very special performance by a hot-on-the-music-scene jug band comprised of members that include some players from the legendary '80s band "Blotto" " the Ramblin' Jug Stompers, whose sessions with the Rumdummies will surely make their Saratoga Hotel venue a not-to-be-missed highlight of the evening.

The Allegany River Indian Dancers will demonstrate some outstanding examples of Native American dance and music, traveling to Saratoga for the first time from the western part of the state.

Children's activities will start earlier than normal " at 4 pm in Lake Avenue Elementary School, and will offer a wide variety of amusements for children of every age " The Zucchini Bros., a reptile show, several magic and illusion shows, Radio Disney entertainers, Mr. Twisty, and High Peaks Juggling, to name a few.

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