First Night Leesburg Canceled

Town, mayor hope to bring back the event next year.

Organizers for First Night Leesburg have decided to cancel the event again this year -- the second consecutive year they've pulled the plug on the New Years celebration. 

In a statement, the Town of Leesburg and the Bluemont Concert Series explained the decision was due to a variety of factors, including financial uncertainty. 

The town is hoping to bring the First Night program back next year. 

"In the past, the Bluemont Concert Series has organized First Night Leesburg for many years and this year they figured that they could not do it again.  We are looking at whether or not we can bring back another program.  Unfortunately, we got the word too late to organize a good substitute for this year," Mayor Kristen Umstattd told Patch.

One of the options is to add entertainment to the program that would be interesting for a younger crowd, she said.

"We realize the dynamics and demographics are changing and we find that there are a lot of teens who would like something to do New Years Eve.  We will try to find out what we can do to fill the gap for next year," Umstattd added.

Before last year's cancelation, First Night Leesburg ran for 25 consecutive years, offering a variety of performing groups and activities at dozens of indoor sites within walking distance in downtown Leesburg as the clock counted down to midnight and a new year.

In 2010, the last year the celebration was held,  First Night Leesburg presented 45 artist groups in 92 performances at 17 indoor sites and was attended by approximately 3,500 – 4,000 Town residents and visitors, according to a release.

Vineet Aggarwal December 13, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Darn...we love First Night Leesburg and were excited to do it this year after it was cancelled last year...oh well, hopefully something gets pulled together for next year!
Jeff Jones December 13, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I agree it should have more things geared for teens. So many good young people in this town, we should try to provide more opportunities for them to have safe places to hang out and have fun. NYE is a great time to provide that for them.
Clairia Jackson December 16, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I remember the early First Night Leesburg events were just throw togethers and not anything formal; mostly volunteer. No street closures, just paper bags lit with candles. A&P was still there and a bakery next door where the County parking garage is now had amature shows, but was more appreciated for the warmth. There were a few businesses open, such as art studios and Market Station was still new and enjoyed the stream of visitors. The objective was met, as the purpose was to keep as many drunk drivers off the roads, with a family sober event. I think a lot of businesses and volunteers from the community would help if the Mayor asked. Police and EMS would probably appreciate it more than having to go to less accident scenes involving alcohol and fatalities.


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