Button History

First button 1991-92
First Night Buttons
After the first year,the committee decided to do a series of buttons based on Chatham landmarks and important features which would take us to the Millennium. With this in mind, we did the following buttons: a wave, the lighthouse, a fishing boat , the bandstand, the library, the railroad station, and the Chase Park windmill. The button for the Millennium was shaped differently–a rectangle– and we also made a metal version which people still wear as pins. It was the Chatham skyline. Since then there have been other buttons with Chatham landmarks . . .

Along the way, we have made several decisions which guide much of what we do and how we do it.

1. Everyone buys a button – there are no give-aways. We have no special packages for sponsors. Even the committee members purchase their own buttons. This has greatly simplified our accounting procedures and estimates of crowds.
2. To avoid overcrowding, we decided to limit button sales. As we added venues, we have increased the number of buttons sold, but we continue to limit button sales to 6,000 adults and 1,500 children.
3. Whenever possible we try to use First Night as an opportunity for young artists to perform. And we have tried to maintain a balance between local artists and entertainers and those from afar.
4. To the extent possible, we try to pay our entertainers for their talents. In the first few years, many of the entertainers agreed to perform for a very small stipend ($25) and several have declined to accept this token payment. They consider their performance to be their gift to the community. But we continue to want to reward our artists and entertainers for their talents and for what they do to make our world brighter and more interesting.
5. We strive to have a variety of entertainment for families and people of all ages.
6. All Sales Are Final.
7. There are no exchanges or refunds

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