The Butler Arts Council will host the ninth annual Ring in the Arts celebration from 7 p.m. to just after midnight New Year's Eve in downtown Butler.
For the first time, admission to performances will be free.
“We were hoping to get a sponsor, but that fell through,” said Larry Stock from the Arts Council.
“But we'll be selling party packs (of hats, noisemakers and raffle tickets). It's a really good deal.”
The party pack also includes a “Bubbly Buck,” which can be exchanged for a glass of champagne or soda at participating area restaurants downtown or at The Art Center at 11:45 p.m. for a countdown toast.
The cost of a party pack is $5 for adults and $3 for those younger than 21.
Performance venues include The Art Center, 344 S. Main St.; the Butler Symphony office, 259 S. Main St.; and Grace @ Calvary Church, 123 E. Diamond St.
The entertainment schedule, which is subject to change, includes:
• Brad Yoder, singer/songwriter, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the symphony office
• “Just Us” Barbershop Quartet, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Grace church
• Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. at The Art Center
• The Occasional Divas, 9 to 10 p.m. at Grace church
• Tom Wotus, piano, 9 to 10:30 p.m. at the symphony office
• Simple Gifts, folk music, 9:15 to 10:30 p.m. at The Art Center
• Black Rock Country, 11 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. at The Art Center.
The bands are all paid, with about $3,500 of the average $5,000 budget going toward the entertainment, Stock said.
“At first (when RITA started), we got a grant from the Pennsylvania arts council and there was some money in the Butler Arts Council account.
“We try to solicit donations, and I think we're getting enough people down here (New Year's Eve) this year and if we sell enough party packs, we should be OK and break even.”
Stock said even though attendance numbers have been “dwindling, we're trying to get people downtown.”
A couple dozen volunteers help with the festivities.
Next year, for the 10th anniversary of Ring in the Arts, Stock said he hopes to get a sponsor for the event.
Call 724-256-5769 for more information.