Ring in the New Year at the 24th Annual First Night Alexandria December 4, 2018

CONTACTS:
Claire Mouledoux: CMouledoux@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5367
Leah Spellman, APR: LSpellman@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5363
Marilyn Patterson: Marilyn@JoyousEvents.com or 703-229-6569

Ring in the New Year at the 24th Annual First Night Alexandria

New Year’s Eve Music Festival Features 100+ Live Performances, Family-Friendly Fun and the Only Fireworks Display in the D.C. Area

Alexandria, VAFirst Night Alexandria, an annual New Year’s Eve music festival and the largest family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve party in the Washington, D.C. region, returns to Alexandria December 31, 2018 with fun for the family beginning at 2 p.m., entertainment starting at 7 p.m. and a culminating spectacular fireworks display—the only one in the D.C. metro area—over the Potomac River at midnight. This annual New Year’s Eve bash presented by the City of Alexandria, Dominion Energy, MGM National Harbor and Virginia Paving Company, takes over Old Town with more than 100 performances at 25 warm indoor venues.

New This Year

  • Kids Karnival including a kids’ countdown at three locations: Families with children 12 years old and younger can enjoy face painting, balloons, special hosts in costumes along with carnival-style games, dancing and fun at the Kids Karnival from 6 to 9 p.m. happening at three locations throughout Alexandria: the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Old Town, the Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Del Ray and the William Ramsay Recreation Center in the West End. Each party will conclude with an earlier-than-normal kids’ countdown to the new year.
  • Bigger-than-ever bash at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial: The George Washington Masonic National Memorial has been a go-to spot for First Night fun for many years, but the party is bigger than ever this year with performances by the Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute Band, Magician Mike Rose, dance parties all night long with DJ Good Times and  fireworks viewing from the lawn at midnight.   
  • Variety Showcase at Shiloh Baptist Church: First Night attendees can join a special Variety Showcase from 8 to 10 p.m. featuring several comedians, spoken word poets, performances from a solo guitarist and more. Come for a specific act or stay for the whole show!

Each year, revelers stroll Old Town Alexandria’s historic streets among art galleries, historic sites, churches and even retail shops that have been transformed into cozy performance venues. Intimate concerts at Principle Gallery and Lloyd House will entertain guests while the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial rock with dancing to great bands. Old Town’s many restaurants and pubs welcome First Night fans, with a choice of restaurants catering to families with children or couples looking for an upscale date night where they can toast the New Year. Several hotels are offering First Night Alexandria hotel packages, giving visitors the perfect excuse to come early and enjoy a weekend getaway filled with dining, shopping, arts and more before counting down to 2019. Learn more, plan what performances you’d like to attend and create a relaxing New Year’s getaway at  VisitAlexandriaVA.com/FirstNight.  

Entertainment from 7 p.m. to Midnight

The main event begins at 7 p.m. with live performances at 25 warm indoor venues throughout Old Town Alexandria’s “Melodious Mile,” from the river to the rail. The city’s most musical evening features rocking rhythm and blues, traditional Irish music, old school funk, acoustic folk, comedic acts, spoken word poetry, swing and more. Dancing in the street starts at the east end of King Street from 10 p.m. until the countdown to the fireworks finale at midnight. Come enjoy the Earth Wind & Fire Tribute Band, the Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun Band, Vaughan Ambrose Trio, Magician Mike Rose, R&R DJs and many more entertainers while dancing into the New Year with DJ Ray Casiano.

Kid-Friendly Fun beginning at 2 p.m.

This family-friendly event is jam-packed with activities for kids throughout the day and into the evening. The 10th  Annual First Night Alexandria Fun Hunt takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. with teams picking up their clue sheets at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Then, from 6 to 9 p.m. families with children 12 years old and younger can the Kids Karnival happening at several locations throughout Alexandria and culminating with a kids’ countdown.

Event Details

WHAT: First Night Alexandria

DATE: December 31, 2018

TIMES:
2 to 5 p.m.: 10th Annual Fun Hunt             
6 to 9 p.m.: Kids Karnival at three locations throughout Alexandria
7 to midnight: Performances at 25 warm indoor venues throughout Old Town 
Midnight: Fireworks along the Potomac River at the foot of King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

WHERE:              
10th Annual Fun Hunt: Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.)
Kids Karnival: Charles Houston Recreation Center (Old Town), Mount Vernon Recreation Center (Del Ray) and William Ramsay Recreation Center (West End)
Performances: Throughout Old Town Alexandria at 25 warm indoor venues
Fireworks Finale: Unit block of King Street and along the waterfront, Alexandria, VA 22314 with additional viewing at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (101 Callahan Dr.)

INFO: FirstNightAlexandria.org; VisitAlexandriaVA.com/FirstNight; 703-746-3299

ADMISSION: $30 December 1-30, 2018; $35 December 31, 2018. Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult with a badge and active military get in free.
                                               
Where to purchase admission badges:

  • In advance until December 21, 2018: Online only at FirstNightAlexandria.org/Buy-Tickets
    • Pick up your badge in person beginning December 21, 2018 and until 10 p.m. on December 31, 2018 at the Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King St.; hours vary throughout December; call 703-838-5005 for more information)
    • Pick up your badge in person on Sunday, December 30, 2018 from noon to 3 p.m. at Market Square at City Hall (301 King St.) and enjoy pre-event entertainment
    • Pick up your badge the day of the event, December 31, 2018, at one of these Full Service locations: Durant Arts Center (1605 Cameron St. between noon and 10 p.m.); Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St. between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.); Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King St. between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.); or the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (101 Callahan Dr. between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.)
  • On December 31, 2018: Save time and purchase online, then bring your receipt to pick up your badge. Look for the kiosks along King St. for quick badge pick up. The following Full Service Centers are available for in person purchases until 10 p.m.: the Alexandria Visitor Center (221 King St.), Christ Church (118 N. Washington St.), the Durant Arts Center (1605 Cameron St.), the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (101 Callahan Dr.).

Calendar Listing

First Night Alexandria, an annual New Year’s Eve music festival and the largest family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve party in the Washington, D.C. region, returns to Alexandria December 31, 2018 with fun for the family beginning at 2 p.m., entertainment starting at 7 p.m. and a culminating spectacular fireworks display—the only one in the D.C. metro area—over the Potomac River at midnight. This annual New Year’s Eve bash takes over Old Town with more than 100 performances at 25 warm indoor venues. New this year is a Kids Karnival for children 12 years old and younger at three locations from 6 to 9 p.m. that includes face painting, carnival-style games and a kids’ countdown;  a bigger-than-ever party at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial featuring Magician Mike Rose, dance parties with DJ Good Times and fireworks viewing from the lawn; and a Variety Showcase from 8 to 10 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church featuring comedians and spoken word poets. Tickets are $30 December 1-30, 2018 and $35 December 31, 2018. Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult with a badge and active military get in free. For more information, call 703-746-3299 or visit FirstNightAlexandria.org. Join the conversation online at #FirstNightALX. 

About First Night Alexandria
First Night Alexandria (FNA) is the largest family-friendly, budget-friendly and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve event in the region. FNA 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, having been 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 FirstNightAlexandria.org

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Named the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018 by Money magazine, a Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2018 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and one of the South’s Prettiest Cities 2018 by Southern Living, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital. A nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is home to more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. New restaurants tucked in to 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown ignite historic and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods as the waterfront district evolves with new energy. Learn more at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com.  

Connect with us!
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Blog: blog.visitalexandriava.com
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Hashtags: #visitALX |#FirstNightALX

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