Westport will again usher in the new year Wednesday evening with an array of entertainment and activities for children, teenagers and adults -- all within easy walking distance of each other downtown.

The 21st annual First Night celebration gets underway as early as 3 p.m. with a variety of family activities, plus music and dancing venues for adults and teens that continue until 10 p.m.

A fireworks display is planned from 9:30 to 10 p.m., with the pyrotechnics launched from a barge on the Saugatuck River.

A $15 button admits each reveler to all events, organizers said. Separate fees will be charged for activities such as custom drawings, face painting and fortune-telling, according to the First Night website.

Buttons will be sold at all venues on New Year's Eve and are available in advance at Trader Joe's, Westport Library, Oscar's Deli, TD Bank and the Westport Center for Senior Activities, according to the event's website.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from 4 to 9 p.m., departing from the former Family Y building at Main Street and Post Road.

More Information

WESTPORT FIRST NIGHT
What: 21st annual First Night celebration in Westport features array of entertainment and activities, for kids, families, teens and adults,
When: 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Multiple downtown venues, all within walking distance of each other.
Tickets: A $15 button provides admission to all events. Additional fee for face painting, personalized drawings and fortune telling. Buttons available Dec. 31 at all venues, in advance at Trader Joe's, Westport Library, Oscar's Deli, TD Bank and Westport Center for Senior Activities,
Schedule: www.firstnightww.com.

Many shows are 30 minutes or 45 minutes and have more than one performance, so First Nighters may sample an array of entertainment at venues minutes from each other.

Food will be available for purchase at many venues.

Most children's events are scheduled between 4 and 8:30 p.m. and include face-painting, a cupcake-decorating bar, an inflatables park, interactive concerts with puppet shows and dancing, magic acts, a ventriloquist and artists drawing custom caricatures of people and animals.

For teens, the house band from Fairfield School of Rock will perform at Toquet Hall. Music and dancing for all ages also will be offered on Jesup Green from 9:15 to 10 p.m.

Entertainment for more mature tastes includes community theater performances, a comedy hypnotist and live music for just about every taste. Musical acts run the gamut from blues to jazz, jug band, Motown, gospel and swing.

For those more interested in the future than the present, two rooms on the second floor of Town Hall will feature fortune tellers, palm readers, psychics and tarot card readers. Fees are $10 for 10 minutes, $1 for each additional minute.

If downtown -- or for that matter, planet Earth -- doesn't offer enough fascination, views of the moon and stars will be available after sundown through telescopes set up on Jesup Green.

Kids and family venues

TD Bank lobby, 185 Main St.: Face painting and animal caricatures, children's interactive music and puppetry, family square dance.

Saugatuck School, 175 Riverside Ave.: Inflatables play park, face painting, people caricatures, Mary Poppins performed; children's music performance, jug-band performance; magician, ventriloquist.

Teen venues

Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave: Fashion show of clothing designed by youths ages 10 to 18, 5 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium.

Toquet Hall, 58 Post Road East, second floor: School of Rock's house band performs from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.

For mature tastes

Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road: Swing-band concert (3 to 4:30 p.m.).

Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 24 Church Lane: jazz duo, jazz ensemble, gospel choir, Motown band.

Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave: caricature artist, fortune tellers and tarot card readers, community theater, hypnotist.

Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place: blues pianist

Jesup Green: Viewing moon and stars through telescopes, live music and dancing (9:15 to 10 p.m.).

For complete schedules or more information, visit www.firstnightww.com.