City of Oil

FIRST NIGHT® OIL CITY 2018 - Celebrating 20 Years

As the 20th Anniversary of First Night® Oil City rapidly approaches, the event planning committee has finalized plans for a truly gala anniversary event for this New Year’s Eve on December 31st. Having begun on December 31st, 1997, this fun, action-packed holiday celebration will showcase a host of the most popular performing groups from among the 224 uniquely different groups which have performed at least once during the previous 19 celebrations. First Night Committee members are very excited about the lineup of family-oriented, non-alcoholic events planned for this year’s celebration.

Popular Performing Groups Returning this Year:

• RPR Band Former members of Tanglefoot, winners of the Best Vocal Group at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards

• Cahal Dunne Ireland’s piano man

• Charles Stayduhar and Robert Morelli Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin impersonators, respectively

• Mitch Littler Blues via vocals and playing guitar, mandolin, drums, and harmonica

•The Butler Clowns Humor, magic, skits, balloons, and music

• Captain Magic Magician

• Carol Weakland Actress, author, and story-teller who brings literary classics to life

• Neil Jacobs 12-string guitarist

• Ashleigh Bennett Indie, folk, and a hint of classical music with vocals, keyboard, and ukulele

• Bill Sandusky Erie Ice Works ice sculpture

Performing Groups Debuting this Year:

• Echo Valley Bluegrass Band A tremendously popular and talented Western Pennsylvania family band comprised of seven siblings

• Porcelain Bus Drivers A dance band that plays everything, from rock to country, rap, modern, soul, 60’s through today

• The Porter/Huber Jazz Quartet Outstanding area instrumental jazz musicians Nelson Porter (trumpet), Bill Huber, Jr. (guitar), Preston Huber (bass guitar) and Patrick Huber (drums and percussion)

• Gary Auerbach “The Frisbee Guy” A World Freestyle Frisbee Champion

Early Evening Activities:

• Cool Night Light People’s Procession

• Hat- and craft-making

• Outdoor bonfires

• Drum circle

• Photos with a beautifully crafted ice sculpture


        o 7:00 pm – Large Display

        o Midnight – Send-off Burst 

Two vans will be available for transporting First Night revelers about town throughout the evening.

As usual, an artistically designed decorative admittance button must be purchased and worn by attendees prior to entering any performance venue. Regular buttons will cost $10 each and special jazzed up “blinky” buttons will sell for $15 each. If purchased prior to Christmas, regular buttons will be sold at a reduced price of $8 each. Children ages 5 and under, if accompanied by an adult, will be admitted at no charge. Buttons are available for purchase at the following locations: Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, Days Inn, Karma Coffee, Transit Arts Gallery, The Sleep Shoppe, Oil City Library, and Spilling the Beans Coffee House. On New Year's Eve, buttons will only be available after 5 p.m. at Spilling the Beans, Karma Coffee, and the National Transit Building.

Please join us for a fabulous evening of family fun, fireworks, fanfare, children’s events, and stellar entertainment brought your way by the Oil City Arts Council and our many wonderful sponsors. First Night Planning Committee members include George Cooley, Jeff Corbett, Dan Feroz, Charlotte LaVerde, Martha LaVerde-Heise, Lynn Pacior-Malys, Bill and Robin Moon, Ron Shoup, Susan Williams and Libby Williams.

For additional First Night information or clarification, please contact Susan Williams at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce at (814) 676-8521 or at or follow us on Facebook. A new Snapchat & Twitter experience will also be a part of the fun this year. Watch for a filter and story as part of the event!