First Night started in Boston in 1976 as part of their bi-centennial celebration. It is now celebrated in over 200 North American cities in addition to Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
Launched in Spokane in 2001 by the Arts Committee of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce, First Night quickly established itself as an independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization. The first year was a great success with over 15,000 attendees and 200 volunteers. This last year has grown exponentially with over 30,000 attendees, 900 volunteers and the addition of many new activities. The stage has been set to make First Night Spokane 2008 even bigger and better.
The overwhelming public support of this winter Arts festival has catapulted First Night Spokane into the mix of major regional events taking place in our community. Most recent achievements include "Arts Organization of the Year" by the City of Spokane Arts Commission, and "Event of the Year" at the Inland Northwest Tourism Awards.