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Your need-to-know guide for attending Fredericksburg's First Night celebration
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
The streets of downtown Fredericksburg will become a giant party Saturday for the celebration of the new year. The 17th annual Fredericksburg First Night will begin about 7 p.m. and run until just after midnight.
Here's a guide for those who plan to join in on the festivities.
Admission buttons are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. (It's free for active duty and retired military.) You can pick up the buttons at several locations in advance, and those locations are listed near the end of this story.
Parking can be found at the City Garage (600 Sophia St.), the City Dock (Sophia Street), the train station (200 Lafayette Blvd.), and the VRE lot near the train station. A free shuttle will run every 15 minutes. Handicapped parking can be found at the City Garage and
The midnight celebration will include the dropping of a giant pineapple at the intersection of Charlotte and Sophia streets. There will also be an illumination and fireworks display.
If your little ones can't stay awake until midnight, take them to an earlier countdown at 9:30 p.m.
The "early countdown" can be found at the Fredericksburg Live Children's Block Party on George Street after a children's parade that begins at 9 p.m.
A trolley will be running from 6:30 to 11 p.m. for anyone with a button. Trolley stops will be at: Charlotte and Princess Anne streets; on Princess Anne Street between William and Amelia streets; at Sophia and Hanover streets; and at Sophia and Wolfe streets.
There will be 15 stages with about 30 different entertainers throughout the evening. Music styles include Celtic, Scottish, hip-hop, jazz, blues and soul. Downtown venues will include tents, churches, pavilions and city buildings.
Most venues will have restrooms, but public restrooms are also available behind the Visitor Center, Riverfront Park and along Caroline Street. The restrooms inside the Visitor Center will have diaper-changing facilities.
The event isn't just for Fredericksburg residents. Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline and Stafford counties will participate, as well.
Buttons are available at: Pohanka Nissan/Hyundai, Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation, Fredericksburg Visitor Center, Spotsylvania Visitor Center, Old Virginia Gourmet, Quantico Marine Corps Community Services Rec-ITT and Naval Support Activity South Potomac MWR-ITT
On Saturday, buttons will be on sale on the 700, 800 and 900 blocks of Caroline Street, the lost-and-found trailer, and the sales-and-information trailer.
Visit fredericksburgfirstnight.com or call 540/972-2749.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
DOWNTOWN STREETS TO HOST NEW YEAR'S PARTYHere are the road closures for Saturday's festivities: 7 A.M. George Street: 100 block and half of 200 block. Street remains open, but fencing will be set up along curb. 8:30 A.M. Hanover Street extended: (next to Shiloh Old Site church) closed. Caroline Street: 1000 block closed. 2 P.M. Caroline Street: 600-1000 blocks closed. Charlotte Street: 100 block closed; 200 block limited access to hotel only. Hanover Street: 100-200 blocks closed. George Street: 100-200 blocks closed. 6 P.M. Charlotte Street: 100-200 blocks closed. William Street: 100-200 blocks: one lane open, right lane closed and tapered so that one lane of traffic crosses over Caroline and Sophia streets. Sophia Street: 600-900 blocks: southbound land closed, northbound lane remains open from Lafayette Boulevard to Chatham Bridge. 11 P.M.
Sophia Street: 600-900 blocks closed in both directions.