Westport, in fact, will welcome the new year with a bang -- and lots of booms.

Organizers of Westport First Night announced fireworks will be part of the downtown New Year's Eve revelry and will be launched from a barge in the Saugatuck River.

The pyrotechnics display will begin at 10 p.m.

Fireworks traditionally have been part of the celebration, but this year's display was left in limbo after the Board of Selectmen earlier this month refused to allow pyrotechnics to be launched from the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Bridge.

But the fireworks contractor has arranged to instead launch from a barge, which will be moored in the river near the Westport Library, First Night organizers said.

The festivities get under way at 3 p.m. Wednesday with a swing-bond concert at the library. By 4:30 p.m., activities and entertainment for families teens and adults will kick into gear at most of the seven other downtown venues.

First Night buttons are $15 and are good for admission to all venues. They will be available at all venues late Wednesday afternoon. Venues are within walking distance of each other.

Entertainment will include a wide variety of live music -- from jazz to Motown, gospel, jug band, rock and blues -- plus a magician, hypnotist, ventriloquist, various acts for kids, community theater performances and star gazing through telescopes on Jesup Green.

For a full schedule of events, visit www. http://firstnightww.com/