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First Night Fredericksburg is relocating
First Night Fredericksburg is moving to a new area of the city this year (and into the next one). Events at the alcohol-free event will be focused along Sophia Street and the Riverfront Park, a move that will keep most downtown streets open on New Year’s Eve.
The change makes it easier for people trying to get to downtown restaurants on Dec. 31. It also should ease traffic and provide better access to parking, said Karen Hedelt, Fredericksburg’s director of economic development and tourism.
In previous years, Caroline Street was closed starting at the 600 block and sometimes reaching as far as the Central Rappahannock Regional Library at 1200 Caroline. That also meant corresponding side streets needed to close.
This year, all events will take place along the riverfront or in a handful of indoor venues for music.
Events start at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31. Children’s activities will be held in the parking lot for Shiloh Old Site Baptist Church at 801 Sophia St., said Tiffany Capehart, the city Parks and Recreation Department’s special events and marketing coordinator.
At 9 p.m. children will have their own New Year’s celebration including a smaller replica of the New Year’s globe, constructed by the Fredericksburg Machine Shop.
The official countdown to 2014 begins at 11:40 p.m. at Riverfront Park, location of the main stage for the evening. Tents with various styles of music will be set up along Sophia Street.
First Night buttons are required for everyone age 3 and older and cost $5 in advance and $8 that evening. They are available now online or at a handful of locations in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County, including those jurisdictions’ respective visitors’ centers.