When the nonprofit that organized First Night for nearly four decades abruptly shuttered in June, Tom Menino declared the city would continue the New Year’s Eve tradition. Everyone envisioned a stripped-down celebration: a little music, a few ice sculptures, and we’ll call it a night. That’s not how this mayor rolls. First Night, he made clear to his staff and anyone who would listen, would be bigger than ever. “We are the oldest First Night,” he said. “We couldn’t allow this to be a second-rate event.” If you have never been or haven’t been in a while, this is the year to go. Patti Smith and The Blind Boys of Alabama, 15 ice sculptures instead of 3, and as always, the Mardi Gras-style processional down Boylston Street and harbor fireworks at midnight. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
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