Supporting the Arts on First Night

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Button Questions:
Performances & Activities Questions:
Logistics & Transportation Questions:
Buttons:
 
Is a button required to attend First Night?

A First Night button is required for most indoor entertainment and activities, while almost all outdoor activities are button-free.

The horse-drawn wagon ride, outside in front of Town Hall, does require a button. The Carnival Caper, outside in front of the Chatham Squire, is button-free but has a separate entry fee. (See Carnival Caper listing for details.)

The Eldredge Public Library and the Atwood House Museum are button-free venues; all performances there are button-free. No button is required to roam around, enjoy the ambiance of First Night, and partake of any of our food vendors. You can enjoy being in Chatham button-free from the Town Photo at noon until the Fireworks at midnight.
For a complete list of button free events, see the Button Free Button Free Button Free page. Everything else requires a button.

 
Where can I buy buttons?

Buttons are on sale at First Night Headquarters, and also at several locations in Chatham and adjacent towns until Noon on Dec 31st.

Buttons can be purchased at several merchant locations in Chatham and adjacent towns. Buttons will also be on sale at First Night Headquarters after it opens on December 18th. Buttons can also be purchased online.

Button sale locations are listed in more detail, with addresses, phone numbers, and times on the Buy Buttons Buy Buttons page.

The following merchants are currently selling buttons:

  • First Night Chatham Headquarters

Button sales will end by noon on Dec. 31st at the following locations:

  • The Chatham Clothing Bar
  • Larry’s PX
  • Cape Cod Five Bank (Chatham branch)
  • South Chatham Liquors
  • Chatham Light Liquors
  • Snow’s Home and Garden in Orleans

Please note: Online orders for buttons will end at midnight Sunday, December 29th.

 
How much do First Night buttons cost?

Adult buttons cost $20, for anyone age 12 or above. Children’s buttons are $5, for ages 3-11. Children 2 and under are free.

All Sales Are Final. There are no exchanges or refunds.

For online purchases, there is also a small shipping and handling fee. , which is listed here.

 
Can I buy buttons anywhere other than local Chatham stores?

Button sale locations are listed on the Buy Buttons page.
Besides Chatham locations, buttons are for sale until Noon on Dec 31st at Snow’s Home and Garden, 22 Main Street in Orleans, and at Cranberry Liquors, 555 Main Street in Harwich Port.

Buttons are also for sale online.

 
Do buttons sell out? What then?

Buttons have sold out in prior years, and it is likely they will sell out again. We limit button sales to 6,000 adults and 1,500 children.

If buttons sell out, check out the button-free activities. The Eldredge Public Library and the Atwood House Museum are button-free venues. No button is required to roam around, enjoy the ambiance of First Night, and partake of any of our food vendors. You can enjoy being in Chatham without a button from the Town Photo at noon until the Fireworks at midnight.
For a complete list of button free events, see the Button Free Button Free Button Free page.

 
How do I get my buttons when I purchase them online?

Online button purchases made on or before Dec 16th can be mailed to the shipping address you provide.

Online purchases made after close of business Dec 16th will be held for Will Call at First Night headquarters. Headquarters will open around December 18th. Please refer to the Headquarters Headquarters page for Headquarters location, hours, and map.

 
Will you hold buttons for me at Headquarters if I call?

We are not able to take button orders over the phone or by email, and the only buttons held for Will Call at First Night Headquarters are those purchased online using the Will Call option.

If you cannot get to one of the merchant locations to buy buttons, but want to pick them up when you get to Chatham, we suggest you purchase buttons online using the Will Call option. If you order late in December, please allow at least 24 hours for an order to be processed and delivered to Headquarters.

During the period when online button purchases are shipped (mid-October through Dec 16th), we do also offer a Will Call option.

 
I lost my button. What can I do? Can I get a replacement?

All button sales are final. There are no refunds, credits, or replacements. We suggest that anyone wanting to take extra care of their buttons place a sticker with name and/or phone number on the back of the button. You can check with Lost & Found at First Night Headquarters to see if anyone turned in your marked button. Also check the list of button-free activities on the website. Also check the list of button-free activities on the Button Free Button Free page.

 
Must everyone buy a button?

Everyone must buy a button in order to attend the performances and events that require a button. However, many families and individuals enjoy First Night without a button by participating in Button-Free activities such as the Town Photo, the Noise Parade, and viewing either of the Fireworks displays. There are ice sculptures and wood sculpture to enjoy, and a variety of Button-Free indoor performances.

Everyone buys a button – there are no give-aways. We have no special packages for sponsors. Even the committee members and the volunteers you see at events purchase their own buttons.

Performances & Activities
 
When and where will First Night programs be available?

The First Night printed program will be available at First Night Headquarters a few days before Christmas.

The full program schedule will also be available in a pull-out section of the Cape Cod Chronicle published the week before Dec 31st.

The schedule is also available on the First Night website. You can view it here. A printable (PDF format) schedule is also available on this page.

 
How can I be sure to get in to see my favorite performance?

There is no guaranteed or reserved seating. The most popular performances usually have a line in front of the entrance well before performance time. At the end of each performance, we encourage the audience to vacate the venue to give those who have been waiting in long lines the opportunity to be seated.

Check with volunteers if there is too long a line, for recommendations about less well-attended performances. The purpose of First Night is to celebrate the arts and the passage of time with friends and family with a wide variety of entertainment; there are likely to be other performances nearby within easy access.

 
Can I bring my food, beverages, or alcohol into the performances?

First Night Chatham is an alcohol-free event! Food and non-alcoholic beverages are sold by a variety of vendors during First Night, some indoors at our venue buildings, and others are located outdoors. At the schools, no food or beverage is allowed in the auditoriums, or the gyms. At the church venues, no food or beverage is allowed in the sanctuaries or chapels. At other venues, check with a volunteer.

Refer to the Food Vendors Food Vendors page for a list of food vendors and locations.

Logistics & Transportation
 
How can I contact First Night? Is there a phone at First Night Headquarters?

You can contact First Night Chatham year-round by email or regular mail. This email address is

The mailing address is
First Night Chatham, PO Box 80, Chatham, MA 02633

The First Night Chatham phone is operational only in November and December. It rings at First Night Headquarters while Headquarters is open (starting December 18th.) during the latter part of December. Before headquarters is open, messages can be left which will be retrieved and responded to. The phone number for First Night Headquarters is 508-945-1122.

 
Where is First Night Headquarters, and when is it open?

First Night Headquarters will be located downtown in the Main St area.

Headquarters will be open starting in mid-December, through Dec 31st. The phone number at headquarters is 508-945-1122.

Please refer to the Headquarters Headquarters page for Headquarters location, hours, and map.

 
Where can I find food?

Several local restaurants, food vendors, and churches help make First Night a fun experience for the whole family by providing food for sale all across the First Night landscape. Some are outdoors, some indoors at the venues. A button is never required to get to any food location. You may also find local restaurants open for business.

A list of food vendors is available in the First Night printed program, as well as online, on the Food Vendors Food Vendors Food Vendors page.

 
Where are the nearest restrooms?

The Town of Chatham restroom facilities that are open during First Night are

  • Town Hall (Main & Cross Streets), at the rear exterior of the building.
  • Town Parking Lot (Main Street behind the Orpheum Theater/Ben Franklin).
  • Kate Gould Park (Chatham Bars Avenue), on the North side of the park.
Refer to the Restrooms Restrooms page for this list with location information that includes a pop-up map.

Volunteers at our venues can tell you what restrooms are nearest.

 
Where do the free shuttle buses go?

Free shuttle buses run from the Rockland Bank corner at the Main St rotary. They go by all First Night venues that are not located on Main St or within easy walking distance of the Main St. rotary. The buses run all day and late into the evening. The buses on the Monomoy Regional Middle School route (formerly the Chatham High School) continue to run after the Fireworks at Oyster Pond, to ferry people back to the Middle School parking lot.

See the Buses Buses page for more details and maps of the routes. Bus stops at the venues are indicated with signage. One bus is handicapped accessible, and will go to whichever venue is needed.

 
Where can I park?

Public parking is available at

  • Monomoy Regional Middle School (Crowell Road). This is the largest parking area. (Formerly Chatham High School) The free shuttle buses can get you where you want to go from there.
  • Town Parking Lot (Main Street, behind the Orpheum Theater)
  • Elementary School (Depot Road)
  • Oyster Pond Parking Lot (Stage Harbor Rd)
  • Chatham Community Center Parking Lot (Main Street, west of the rotary)
Refer to the Parking Parking page for this list with location information that includes a pop-up map.