WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – After 24 years, Williamsburg’s community New Year’s Eve celebration has been canceled.
First Night Williamsburg is described as a “family-oriented, non alcoholic, New Year’s Eve celebration of the performing arts presented throughout the City and on the campus of the College of William & Mary.”
The Board of Directors for First Night of Williamsburg, Inc. said several decisions influenced the decision to cancel the event.
The following statement was issued:
“It takes many dedicated people to hire the entertainers, contract for facilities, develop marketing strategies, create budgets, apply for grants, staff the venues, take tickets, sell buttons, install signs, and direct people the night of the event. Without the individuals donating their time before, during, and after the event, we are unable to provide the quality experience that the community has come to expect. First Night Williamsburg had reduced operating costs and made other changes to help make the event self-sustaining through ticket sales, but financial contributions from patrons of the arts and local governments, as well as corporate sponsorships, had been significantly curtailed over the past few years.
Susan Woodcock Tisdale, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, stated “Everyone on the Board has volunteered countless hours to provide a fun, family friendly event for the community. None of us wants to see that end, but we have to make the tough decision to cancel the event. We’re extremely disappointed, but to continue without adequate funding or volunteers would be irresponsible. ”
We thank the many talented performers, sponsors, and community volunteers over the past 24 years who made First Night Williamsburg a New Year’s Eve tradition. We also thank the College of William and Mary, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the many local places of worship that opened their facilities to thousands of event attendees every year.”