First Night Alexandria Offers Full Day of New Year’s Festivities

Watching fireworks

Big bangs: The First Night fun gets underway in the afternoon on Dec. 31 and runs to midnight, when fireworks will set the Potomac alight. (Waldo Jaquith via Flickr)

It’s our third year covering this family-fun affair, a new year’s celebration where you don’t have to worry about too many drunks spoiling your good time with the kids and friends. At First Night Alexandria, the plan is to ring in 2014 (I know, how did it get to be 2014!) without the aid of alcohol.

With roots back in 1976 Boston, this alcohol-less year-ender has since spread like wildfire all over the U.S. First Night Alexandria itself stretches back to 1994, which makes it older than some apartment renters’ kids. Yes, we’re all getting Old.

Speaking of old, the event is once again taking place in Old Town, one of the area’s best neighborhoods bar none. (OK, OK, that was a bit cheap.)

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This year looks to be a lot like last year’s soiree, with at least one added feature: a teenage Battle of the Bands. Well, that and they’re including pet-friendly activities (the site doesn’t go into detail here, so interested parties may want to contact them). In fact, there’ll be “more than 100 performances at 22 venues” featuring other “live music, dancing and children’s activities.”

First Night actually starts out during the day, with festivities starting at 1 p.m., including the Fun Hunt from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Take a look at this schedule of events.

Be it comedic magic (Mike Rose “the Magic Kinda Guy”), roots rock/Americana (Ruthie and the Wranglers), blues (Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark), folk (Ken and Brad Kolodner), woodwinds (Washington Philharmonic Orchestra Woodwinds) or storytelling for the kids (Storytime with Miss Megan), there is something for nearly everyone.

If you get hungry, there are restaurants all over Old Town, and a few are even participating; there will even be four food trucks.

Of course, this all leads up to the fireworks display over the Potomac River at midnight, and this is the one event at First Night that’s free … which brings us to tickets. Tickets, or badges, go for $15 before December 19 and $20 after. Since this is kid-friendly, those 12 and under get in for free, and so do active military (with active ID).

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As you can imagine, there are plenty of sponsors for First Night Alexandria, including Premiere Sponsors the City of Alexandria, Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Alexandria Marketing Fund. That’s a whole lotta Alexandria.

The nearest Metrorail station is the King St-Old Town stop on the Blue/Yellow Line. From there, you can even catch the King Street Trolley, which runs every 15 minutes. People who want the exercise can use their feet for locomotion.

Come out and ring in the new year in Old Town.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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