The City of Boston rings in the New Year with First Night 2011.

There are more than 250 events (both indoor and outdoor) planned for this year's First Night celebration. All First Night outdoor events are free, though supported by sales of the First Night button, which is the ticket for admission to all indoor events. The buttons are $18 (children under 4 receive free admission) and have been available at Boston-area Shaws and Star Markets, Store 24s, Au Bon Pains and dozens of other locations throughout the city.

The Grand Procession, led by Mayor Tom Menino, will begin at 5:30pm at the Hynes Convention Center, travel down Boylston Street and come to an conclusion at the intersection of Charles and Beacon Streets. The first of two fireworks shows will then begin at 7:00pm on the Boston Common. The 2nd show will begin at midnight over Boston Harbor.

Said Mayor Tom Menino, "Boston is the best place to welcome in the New Year and the First Night celebration is one of our city's greatest traditions, bringing the people of Boston closer together and celebrating our diverse cultures. I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of all the city has to offer."

Said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, “First Night is a great Boston tradition. Not only is it one of our largest events but it’s also one of our premier family events. This year, as in years past, we are expecting another large crowd. As such, we’re asking everyone to celebrate responsibly. New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration and fun and we expect everyone who comes into this city to celebrate peacefully and responsibly.”

For those attending the First Night Celebration, public transportation is the preferred mode of transportation. For those utilizing public transportation, be advised that the MBTA will be free after 8:00pm. Given the large number of parking restrictions throughout downtown Boston, leaving your car at home is a great way to minimize the impact felt by those getting in and out of the city. Again , parking opportunities will be limited.

The department will be staffing the Unified Command Center at Boston Police Headquarters and we will be working closely with our public safety partners, including the Boston Fire Department, Transportation Department, MBTA Police, Mass State Police and FBI.

On behalf of the Boston Police Department, we wish you a happy and safe First Night celebration.