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First Night, creator of the city’s longtime New Year’s Eve celebration, to cease operations

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After years of declining donations and business sponsorships, First Night Boston is shutting down because of financial woes after nearly four decades, bringing an end to the city’s signature New Year’s Eve celebration.

Faced with the loss of major donations that pushed an already fragile budget to the brink, the nonprofit group is shutting down operations, laying off its small staff and closing its downtown offices.

“We just can’t support it anymore,” said Geri Guardino, First Night’s director. “It’s very sad.”

With its fireworks, Mardi Gras-style procession, and famed ice sculptures, the holiday festivities drew a million people to the city each New Year’s Eve, a beloved tradition that showcased hundreds of artists and captured Boston in full winter glory.

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