Fireworks Return to First Night Alexandria December 10, 2012

Ann Dorman, or 703-626-1266
Claire Mouledoux, or 703-652-5367

First Night Alexandria New Year's Eve Bash:

Fireworks at the Waterfront for
Alexandria's Most Musical Evening

100+ Live Performances at 21 Indoor Venues

CALENDAR LISTING: December 31, 2012, First Night Alexandria. This annual New Year's Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with over 100 performances at 21 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, and children's face painting and games. The afternoon's Fourth Annual Fun Hunt is joined by all-new activities for families - and dogs! First Night's beloved fireworks finale returns at a NEW location, with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight. Afternoon activities, 2 to 5 p.m. Performances, 7 to 11:45 p.m. $15 before December 17; $20 after. Children 12 and under and active military are free. 703-703-746-3301,


ALEXANDRIA, VA - A spectacular fireworks display over the Potomac River will ring in the New Year as the grand finale of First Night Alexandria, the New Year's Eve bash that takes over Old Town. The city's most musical evening features Argentinean tango, New Orleans funk, traditional Irish music, rocking rhythm and blues, classic country, acoustic folk, and jazz violin, to name just a few of the 116 acts found at 21 indoor venues on December 31. With these performances, plus kids' entertainment, new afternoon activities and the all-ages, brain-teasing Fun Hunt, First Night Alexandria is the largest family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year's Eve event in the region. Your ticket for the event is a First Night badge which gives you access to entertainment and activities at spots all around Old Town.


First Night Alexandria's beloved fireworks finale returns at a NEW location, with a display over the Potomac River at the foot of King Street at midnight. The finale will kick off at 10 p.m. with a performance by The Stairwells in the unit block of King Street where DJ Ray Casiano will spin music for a dance party in the street.


New this year, DC's food truck craze will descend on Alexandria. Popped Republic and the Red Hook Lobster Pound will be serving from noon until midnight on Union Street at the Torpedo Factory Art Center while DC Slices and Doug the Food Dude will serve from noon until 10 p.m. at the Jefferson Houston School.


The roster of FREE afternoon activities from 2 to 5 p.m. has expanded to include fun tailored for adults and even dogs and cats! Whisker Wonderland activities at King Street Garden Park will entertain canines and kids. Adult-friendly happenings at Olio and the Paper Source join kid-friendly activities at the Sugar Cube, Ten Thousand Villages, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The Fourth Annual First Night Fun Hunt offers prizes and you can participate with the purchase of a First Night badge.


The main event begins at 7 p.m. with live performances at 21 indoor venues in Old Town. With your First Night badge and schedule in hand, stroll Alexandria's historic streets among venues, or hop on and off the free King Street Trolley to catch your favorite acts. Museums, public buildings, and even retail shops are turned into performance venues to showcase regional and national talent. Dance the night away at the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the George Washington Masonic Memorial, or catch intimate concerts at venues including the Lyceum, Indus Imports and Imagine Artwear. Make a night of it with dinner at one of Old Town's many dining hotspots or cozy pubs. Book a First Night hotel package for the night or long weekend.

New musical acts include:

Bonnie Rideout -- Internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout makes a rare one-performance-only appearance at First Night Alexandria. Patrons can purchase a special ticket that includes reserved seating (available with online purchase only) for her show.

Janine Wilson Band -- Janine's band will have you dancing to an assortment of roots rock. Winner of 2011 Washington Area Music Association Awards (Wammies) for Album of the Year (Wakin' Up) and Song of the Year (It Should Be Me).

Nicole Belanus -- Nicole is a singer/songwriter with acoustic and folk-rock influences, performing memorable melodies for fans of Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow. She was recently named best emerging artist at the Sea Level songwriting festival and Singer Universe magazine named her best vocalist.

The event is packed with award-winning musical acts, including Grammy award-winning Al Petteway & Amy White's Celtic-Appalachian acoustic groove, as heard on the Emmy-winning Ken Burns documentary "The National Parks". Grammy nominee Ray Owen whips up a feast of classic tunes, Americana and roots music - he has played with Garth Brooks, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson and America. Multiple Wammie winner QuinTango serenades with sounds from Argentina. Matthew Mills, named one of the 50 fastest guitarists by Guitar World magazine, performs acoustic guitar influenced by flamenco and contemporary jazz. Keira Moran, a 17 year-old pop singer/songwriter and student at Alexandria's T.C. Williams High School, is the winner of the 2011 National "Smashtune" songwriting contest and winner of the 2012 Miss Nova Music Award.


This family-friendly event is chock full of activities for kids throughout the night, including face painting, moon bounce, clowns doing balloon sculptures, and interactive games. Check out the Seaworthy Small Ships activity and sail model boats for free, or buy and build your own. Join Hooray for Books' own Miss Megan for a fun-filled evening of stories and songs. Kids also love the How-To Cowboy Joke Fest, sing-along and rhythm instruments with Mr. Don, and more. Alcohol-free venues keep it fun and accessible for all ages - and children under 12 are free in addition to free admission for active military.

"We're excited to bring everyone's favorite fireworks back this year," said Kerry Donley, board chairman for First Night Alexandria. "We'll be welcoming the New Year with a bang after a 10-hour celebration jam-packed with live music, dancing and family fun."


Stay for the night or weekend! Book your stay at - it's easy to browse all of Alexandria's accommodations while comparing prices and TripAdvisor reviews on the site's hotel booking engine. Some hotels offer special packages for First Night, and you'll also find restaurant special offers on


This year's First Night headquarters is the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, just blocks from King St-Old Town Metro Station. The Free King Street Trolley will operate until 1 a.m., and a dedicated trolley will make a continuous loop from the King St-Old Town Metro, to First Night headquarters at the Durant Arts Center, then to the George Washington Masonic Memorial and back to the Metro.

Go to for the complete schedule of shows and activities and to buy admission badges. Plan your visit to Alexandria at


WHAT:                   First Night Alexandria

WHERE:                 Event: 21 venues in Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
                            Headquarters: Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
                            Finale: Unit block of King St. and Potomac River at the foot of King St., Alexandria, VA 22314

DATE:                    December 31, 2012

TIME:                     Afternoon activities: 2-5 p.m
                             Performances: 7-11:45 p.m.
                            Fireworks: 12 midnight

INFO :         ; 703-746-3301

ADMISSION: $15 before December 17; $20 after. Additional fee of $10 for reserved seating for Bonnie Rideout show. Children 12 and under and active military are free. See website for ticket sales locations or purchase online.


About First Night Alexandria
First Night Alexandria began in 1994 as a celebration of the New Year through the performing arts. Coffee shops, retail stores, hotels, museums and public buildings are turned into performance venues to showcase a variety of talent. First Night celebrations take place around the world and the event was founded in 1976 by a group of civic-minded artists in Boston as a meaningful alternative to traditional New Year's Eve revelry. To learn more, visit

About Alexandria, Virginia
Experience an alluring mix of historic authenticity and urban sophistication. On the Potomac River waterfront just 5 miles from Washington, DC, get away to George Washington's hometown, with 18th- and early 19th- century architecture buzzing with nationally acclaimed dining hotspots, independent boutiques, and art and antique

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