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New Year’s Eve

First Night makes Alexandria the place to be.

Midnight fireworks over the Alexandria waterfront will celebrate the finale of First Night Alexandria.

Midnight fireworks over the Alexandria waterfront will celebrate the finale of First Night Alexandria. Photo by John Bordner

Billed as the largest family-friendly New Year's Eve party in the greater Washington area, more than 100 live performances will take place throughout Old Town as part of First Night Alexandria, a day-long event filled with entertainment and culminating with a fireworks finale over the Potomac River along the waterfront.

First Night participants can enjoy an afternoon scavenger hunt throughout Old Town before evening performances get underway as part of the celebration that extends from the George Washington Masonic Memorial to the waterfront.

The main event begins at 7 p.m. with live performances at 22 indoor venues in Old Town. Musical entertainment will feature rhythm and blues, New Orleans funk, traditional Irish music, acoustic folk and more. New acts include WAMMIE-award winning Ruthie and the Wranglers, playing high energy roots rock, and Geoff Gallante, 13-year-old nationally recognized trumpet soloist performing an eclectic mix of classical, folk, hymns and spirituals.

This family-friendly event is full of activities for kids throughout the night, including face painting, a moon bounce, clowns doing balloon sculptures and interactive games. This year features an all-new Battle of the Bands for teens. After submitting online videos and receiving votes from the public, the top choices will compete on Dec. 31 for a paid contract to perform at First Night Alexandria 2014. Alcohol-free venues keep it fun and accessible for all ages – and children under 12 and active military are free.

For tickets or more information, visit www.FirstNightAlexandria.org.