By Josette Keelor
Valley residents looking for a fun way to ring in the new year will have options to the north and south, with Winchester and Harrisonburg both gearing up for First Night events on Monday. Both events are family friendly and alcohol-free.
In Winchester, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley will begin its New Year's Eve festivities at 10 a.m. with a full day of family friendly activities, including special art tours for children and adults.
Magician Johnny-O will perform at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. He also will offer balloon sculptures from noon to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. From noon to 4 p.m., Glitterbugz will offer fun with face painting.
At 1 p.m., the museum will host the release of a young, rehabilitated red-tailed hawk from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Millwood. Admission will not be required for the hawk release.
Tours will feature selected paintings from the Julian Wood Glass Jr. Gallery, which will close for renovations for six months as it becomes the museum's new Changing Exhibition Gallery. Guided 20-minute tours will take place every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
First Night Winchester also will offer programs, musical events and children's activities throughout the afternoon and evening at downtown locations.
The schedule includes the following:
The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, 54 S. Loudoun St., open from 5 to 8 p.m.
Ronald McDonald at Grace Lutheran Church, 26 W. Boscawen St., from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and from 7 to 7:45 p.m.
A model train layout, at the Winchester model Railroad Club, 430 N. Cameron St., from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Children's mask making, at Grace Lutheran Church, 26 W. Boscawen St., from 5 to 10 p.m.
Battle of the Bands, at Braddock Street United Methodist Church, 115 Wolfe St., from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
The Apple Drop and fireworks ceremony at the intersection of Cameron and Boscawen streets, beginning at 11:45 p.m.
Other performers will be the Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers, Brass 5, Classic Strings Duo, Improv for Kids, Magician Kevin Owens, the Martinsburg Jazz Orchestra, Mean Mary, Mosh Pryderi, Push to Start, The Robbie Limon Band, Spoon Man, The Unicycle Lady, Vocal Point and Yesterday Swing Orchestra.
A First Night button, which costs $10, is required for all indoor events. Discounts for three or more buttons are available at http://firstnightwinchester.com.
As a partner with First Night Winchester, the museum will offer free admission and activities to those wearing a First Night button, to children age 12 or younger and to museum members. Buttons are available for purchase at the museum store, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and on Dec. 31, and at the Apple Blossom Mall service desk, the Bank of Clarke County, The Old Town General Store, Wilkins Shoe Center, the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center and the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary Gift Shop at the medical center and at the old hospital.
For more information, call the museum at 662-1473, ext 235, or visit www.theMSV.org; or call the First Night Winchester office at 533-5561 or visit http://firstnightwinchester.com.
In Harrisonburg, First Night will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight. Buttons are $6 in advance and $8 on Monday. Children under the age of 5 will be admitted free of charge, and the button allows admission to more than 30 performances and 10 venues throughout the night.
Entertainment will be Adair McConnell and Friends, the Chekada Winds Trio, the Harrisonburg Harmonizers Chorus, Jessica Crawford, The Judy Chops, Little Walter and the Convictions, Mark Nizer, Mike Deaton, No Strings Attached, Nothin Fancy, Ragged Mountain String Band, Rhythm Road, the Shenandoah Valley Pipe Band, Ted & Ingrid, Tobini Magic and Wrenn Mangum.
Buttons will be available for purchase in Harrisonburg at the Daily News-Record, Downtown Books, Friendly City Food Co-op, Glen's Fair Price Store, Hardesty Higgins House, Massanutten Regional Library, Red Front Super Market, Stonewall Jackson Inn Bed & Breakfast and at Summit Bank, and in McGaheysville at Massanutten Resort General Store. On Monday beginning at 5 p.m., buttons will be available at One Court Square.
For more information, visit www.firstnightharrisonburg.com.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org