First Night Alexandria

The Largest Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Party in the D.C. Region

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 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.

Fireworks will happen in the rain unless it’s a major weather event (which is not in the forecast.) Updates will be posted to First Night Alexandria social media channels tonight if the weather becomes severe.

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 a special 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 eateries 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.