First Night Alexandria scored again with weather as well as you could ask for for a New Year celebration. After an evening of entertainment at venues all over the King Street area of Old Town Alexandria Virginia, revelers poured down King Street as the clock headed toward midnight. The blocks closest to the Potomac waterfront were blocked from traffic.
For details on the entertainment, see http://www.firstnightalexandria.org/.
The crowd was generally young, though not too many people brought their children to see the fireworks in the city's 19th annual display. The midnight celebration had been moved from its historic location at the George Washington Masonic Memorial because of a Virginia ordinance requiring a setback between the viewing area and the fireworks launch. So the program had to dispense with the traditional laser show as there was no wall to bounce the lights off of. That change started last year. The year before, the production featured the laser show without fireworks.
And the waterfront is further from the King Street Metro, but the city provided a series of free shuttle buses that filled to capacity taking people from the celebration to the subway, which was open late for New Year's celebrants.
Weather seem to hover just above freezing but with no wind or precipitation, the crowd appeared comfortable.
Alexandria Mayor William Euille himself took the microphone to lead the countdown to the fireworks display, which lasted about eight minutes. In fact, the fireworks went off before the count reached zero.
The crowd watched the colors fly over the river to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. And when the display ended, the assembled people turned around left to the tune of The Last Dance.