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Fireworks Return to First Night Alexandria

Alexandria's New Year's Eve festival brings back the fireworks - this time over the Potomac - and offers new activities for families, kids and even dogs.

The fireworks are back.

After a hiatus last year, fireworks are returning to First Night Alexandria with a display set for over the Potomac River at midnight.

First Night’s finale previously occurred at the city’s George Washington Masonic Memorial, but in 2011 it was determined that the location of the annual fireworks display was against Virginia’s safety laws.

Last year, a laser light show and drop of 6,000 ping pong balls rang in the New Year at the memorial.

Organizers decided to produce a fireworks show this year by hosting the show on a barge near the foot of King Street, meeting state safety requirements.

“We’re excited to bring everyone’s favorite fireworks back this year,” said Kerry Donley, vice mayor and 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.”

The Old Town Alexandria event, which features 100 performances at 19 venues starting at 7 p.m., has many new features this year.

Internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout will give an exclusive performance, and patrons can purchase a special ticket that includes reserved seating for her show.

The First Night Fun Hunt is joined by new afternoon activities for families and dogs – and new craft project demos at the Paper Source. Returning kid-friendly afternoon activities are presented by the Torpedo Factory Art Center, The Art League, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, and Hooray for Books.

The event’s finale will kick off at 10 p.m. with DJ Ray Casiano spinning music for a dance party in the unit block of King Street.

Dennis Auld October 25, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Thats wonderful. Its great to start off the new year with a bang.
N. P. October 25, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Any commentary on last years ping pong balls? I'm not sure if they weren't working last year, or if they were plundered from bystanders looking to score prizes linked to numbers printed on the balls. I saw maybe a few dozen get about 10 feet off of the ground - I'm glad First Night learned its' lesson and brought the fireworks back!
Mellenie Runion October 25, 2012 at 02:46 PM
At one time, celebrating independence each year meant a city celebration with fireworks. Today, fireworks appear to be used too often. The use of fireworks spreads fine particulate pollution over our homes and the extremely polluted Potomac River. http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/health.html I know they are impressive, but that will last a few minutes and those chemicals will cause years of damage.

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