Northampton prepares for First Night following Berlin, Germany attack

Northampton Mayor reminds residents First Night will have lots of security

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – When the clock strikes 12, the ball on top of Hotel Northampton will rise & welcome us into another new year.

The Northampton Center for the Arts is finalizing safety plans to host its 32nd First Night celebration in the city’s downtown. It was only one night ago a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, was the target of a suspected terrorist attack.

With days leading up to our local holiday celebrations, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz told 22News attendees can be assured they’re safe. “You’re always planning for the worst case scenario,” the mayor said. “Obviously we don’t want to discuss publicly all of the planning that goes into effect, but people should know that there are a lot of eyes and ears on Northampton during First Night.”

Neither the mayor nor police would specify their safety plans to ensure they’re protected. Northampton firefighters will be working with pyrotechnicians to make sure everyone’s safe when the fireworks on top of the municipal parking garage go off.

Tragedies like Berlin haven’t discouraged some people from attending public holiday events. Cam Barrows of West Springfield told 22News, “I’m always cautious wherever I go, but I don’t let those spur of the moment or random, sporadic instances keep me from experiencing all of the fun stuff that I can do in life.”

Mayor Narkewicz says they’re still expecting thousands of people to attend First Night this year.