First Night Whitman: Ringing in 2015 with a Toll House Cookie

Whitman, Mass: the only small town First Night in the area!

Whitman, Mass: the only small town First Night in the area!

The small South Shore town of Whitman, Mass has done it again: hundreds gathered in the town center to ring in the new year with a giant Toll House Cookie drop at midnight, followed by fireworks.

The streets downtown were closed down at 7:00pm and the six foot cookie was hoisted into place with a giant crane, high above Duval’s Pharmacy.

Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a six foot cookie!

Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a six foot cookie!

Big Daddy Ray was your emcee for the night, on hand to keep everyone moving around and warm before the midnight countdown.

"Can I get an AMEN from the house?"  (Big Daddy Ray)

“Can I get an AMEN from the house?” (Big Daddy Ray)

This year’s band, Divas With a Twist, also helped to keep the crowd hopping to warmth until the cookie came down.

Divas With a Twist spread lots of holiday day cheer in Whitman center on New Years Eve!

Divas With a Twist spread lots of holiday day cheer in Whitman center on New Years Eve!

Billed as a night of family friendly fun, we were happy to see the kids representing. They were dancing (and sitting) in the street.

There'll be laughin' and singin' and music swingin' and dancin' in the streets.

There’ll be laughin’ and singin’ and music swingin’
and dancin’ in the streets.

Not just family friendly, but four-legged friend friendly, as well!!  Can we get a “woof woof”?

This guy could have been the First Night Whitman mascot!

This guy could have been the First Night Whitman mascot!

People also brought their own fun! Here we see some people who created their own “cookie drop”, scaled down, of course.

Not every cookie drop involved a 6 foot cookie!

Not every cookie drop involved a 6 foot cookie!

The night started out slow but well by midnight hundreds were gathered to see Divas With a Twists‘ final set, which led us to Big Daddy Ray going from “Jump Around” to “Let’s Go Crazy”.

Dancing, smiling, and waiting... 2015 is right around the corner.

Dancing, smiling, and waiting… 2015 is right around the corner.

Yours truly, your blog author, sporting the 2015 First Night Whitman button, with all proceeds going to the Whitman Food Pantry.

All proceeds for the Whitman First Night buttons help support our town's food pantry.

All proceeds for the First Night Whitman buttons help support our town’s food pantry.

And the clock strikes midnight! Should times long past be forgot (days of auld lang syne). This is what it’s all about: a ten second countdown, cookie drops and fireworks commence!

The roof of Duval's Pharmacy sets the stage for the pyrotechnics when the clock strikes midnight.

The roof of Duval’s Pharmacy sets the stage for the pyrotechnics when the clock strikes midnight.

Special thanks to the First Night Whitman committee for all their hard work in bringing this together, as well as bringing so many citizens of a great little town together. More thanks and kudos to the Whitman Police Dept and the Whitman Fire Dept as always, for keeping our town safe.

First Night Whitman: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Glass of Milk…

Whitman, Massachusetts: Home of the Toll House Cookie. Yes, that is my little town’s claim to fame, and that iconic cookie, made famous by Ruth Wakefield and catapulted to fame by Nestle, just turned 75 years old.

How do you celebrate something as major as that? You ask a local high school to build a six-foot cookie and drop it from the sky at midnight on New Year’s Eve, of course! Sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what happened last night in the town center, in front of Duval’s Pharmacy and Mary Lou’s Coffee. It wasn’t “just a cookie”. There were bands, a DJ, food vendors and lots and lots of people. There was also 2,014 homemade Toll House cookies given away, some Whitman First Night lip balms, LOUD horns, glow sticks and so much good cheer, you couldn’t help but be glad you braved the cold and showed up. With funding from Nestle, the Whitman Winterfest Committee was able to put together a truly unique once in a life time event. WATD 95.9 FM was on hand with Kevin Tocci to do a live remote with up to date info and interviews with the key players who were “making history happen”. If you were there, you know what an amazing job they did. If you couldn’t make it, the photos will tell the tale.

DJ Big Daddy Ray from RPE was on hand as the Master of Ceremonies, kept the flow throughout the night that brought it all together. It’s not a party until Big Daddy Ray is in the house.

Big Daddy Ray from Rob Peters Entertainment was your Master of Ceremonies from the start until the last cookie crumb!

Big Daddy Ray from Rob Peters Entertainment was your Master of Ceremonies from the start until the last cookie crumb!

Did I mention 2014 homemade Toll House Cookies?? Free for the asking, delicious for the eating, a hit all night long!

Who could refuse a homemade Toll House Cookie?

Who could refuse a homemade Toll House Cookie?

One moment in time that literally made my night… I witnessed Cookie Monster chasing a giant Toll House cookie down the street, clearly with intentions of also chasing a glass of milk if one happened by. But later in the night, there was this… and all was right in the world.

"C" is for Cookie, that's good enough for me… Cookie Monster is a lot nicer than you think.

“C” is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me… Cookie Monster is a lot nicer than you think.

The big draw for the night was the music. The bands kept the crowds dancing, which in turn kept them warm. These bands gave their all, and it was nice to see someone in the crowd named Mary hand over a pair of gloves to one of the singers. Baby, it (was) cold outside!

First band of the night at Whitman First Night  to brave the cold with Mike Kostas and Kim Tomkinson… brrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

First band of the night at First Night Whitman to brave the cold with Mike Kostas and Kim Tomkinson… brrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

6 Foot Sunday literally brought the crowd into midnight, finishing up their cover of Sweet Child o’ Mine about 12 seconds before midnight (and the Toll House cookie drop). They did a “Linkin Park meets Skee Lo” cover of “I Wish” that should be at the top of the charts as we speak, and their unique take on “Airplanes” left the crowd pleading for more.

6 Foot Sunday rang in 2014 for the crowd at First Night Whitman.

6 Foot Sunday rang in 2014 for the crowd at First Night Whitman.

Finally (last but certainly not least) what’s a First Night celebration with pyrotechnics? You can’t drop a six-foot Toll House cookie at midnight without fireworks.

First Night Whitman ended with a bang… fireworks lit up the sky as the cookie dropped at midnight!

First Night Whitman ended with a bang… fireworks lit up the sky as the cookie dropped at midnight!

Thanks to all who helped make this night happen… Nestle, Whitman Fire Dept, Whitman Police Dept, and The Whitman Winterfest Committee. This blog post is a little more personal than most, but we want to say we are very grateful to live in such a wonderful small town. Have a great 2014!

Here's to a happy and healthy 2014!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Michele McPhee Book Signing {Cameron’s on the Green}

We were honored to have been asked to photograph a fundraiser for our town’s state representative, Geoff Diehl, held last night at Cameron’s on the Green in East Bridgewater.

The night was off to a great start with a packed house, as Geoff thanked all the attendees, he mentioned he was happy to see so many familiar faces but he was also humbled by all the new faces he saw who came out to support him.

Whitman/Abington/East Bridgewater state representative Geoff Diehl mingles with his supporters and discusses the issues facing the voters.

Every fundraiser has a draw, and this night was no exception. WRKO morning host, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Michele McPhee came down to the South Shore to speak on Geoff’s behalf. She had the crowd’s full attention as she spoke about some of the current events going on in Massachusetts, pointing out that you can’t be afraid to fight the good fight. Her memorable quote of the night, borrowed from Tip O’Neill, was “All politics is local”, especially thanking Geoff Diehl and some other local politicians in attendence for helping to bring balance back to the state house.

Best selling author Michele McPhee, co host of Feinburg & McPhee on WRKO, speaks to a packed house, supporting local state rep Geoff Diehl.

After addressing the crowd, Michele took photos with guests and signed her books, and all the time discussing the issues that affect all of us on a day-to-day basis.

Michele McPhee poses with a fan and his newly signed book, “A Date With Death”.

Michele McPhee poses with State Rep Geoff Diehl and former Navy Seal Anthony O’Brien, currently running for Register of Deeds in Plymouth County.

Michele McPhee and the young, up and coming Myles Heger at Cameron’s on the Green.

A great time was had by all, with supporters showing up and packing the house from start to finish. The night finished off with a silent auction that saw many of the supporters going home with great prizes.

Whitman selectman Brian Bezanson trades in his winning ticket and Geoff Diehl hands him the shirt he won.

A handmade “elephant” hat was possibly the most sought after silent auction offering of the night.

State Rep Geoff Diehl was happy to offer an adorable handmade elephant hat in the silent auction.

A big thanks to State Rep Geoff Diehl and author Michele McPhee for asking us to photograph this very important event.