First Night is a family friendly, alcohol-free community celebration of the New Year. Each December 31st, we celebrate the passage of time from the old year to the new with a festival celebrating the performing arts in many forms and venues.
Our celebration of the visual and performing arts includes venues in the City of Williamsburg, on the campus of The College of William and Mary and other sites, which become stages that involve the public, feature the traditions of our area, and end in a glorious fireworks finale.
First Night Williamsburg has enjoyed a 24-year history of offering this experience for up to 5,000 participants each year.
Admission Buttons: In order to gain entry to all performances, you will need to purchase an admission button. Prices are as follows: $20.00 for adults / Kids wristbands for ages 3-13 are $10 / Children 2 and under are FREE. This can be done prior to the event at one of these local retailers. You may also purchase admission online along with a family pack of two buttons / two wristbands for $50. Online ticket sales require redemption of receipt at the Sadler Center, 200 Stadium Drive in Williamsburg on December 31st in exchange for an admission button or wristband. No buttons or wristbands will be mailed. The family pack is ONLY available online at EventBrite.
We encourage visitors to arrive early for their favorite performance / act. Each "set" is between 30-45 minutes and the venue will empty completely between sets. There will not be an opportunity to see the same act twice unless you leave the venue and return to the line for the next show.
Children's shows at Matthew Whaley Elementary School begin at 3:00 PM and end with children’s fireworks at 7pm. (These fireworks are closer to the ground and shorter than the midnight fireworks.) The majority of the evening's entertainment begins between 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM.
There will be various food vendors set up around the venues. Some items include: Steak and Cheese Subs. BBQ, Burgers, Italian Sausage, Funnel Cakes, Cotton Candy, Candy Apples Deep Fried Oreos, Virginia Ham Wrap, Vegetable Soup, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, N.C. Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, Crab Cake Sandwich, Chicken Tenders w/ Fries, Key Lime Pie, Cookies. See list of food vendors.
This year, the fireworks display will be launched from William and Mary practice field, but free seating will be in the stands at Zable Stadium on the William and Mary campus. It is recommended getting to the stadium perhaps 30 minutes early to ensure seating. Due to the new structure at Zable, it is recommended to sit on the Richmond Road site of the stadium for best fireworks viewing.
BUSES START RUNNING AT 6P.M. NEW YEAR'S EVE.
We will have two Oleta buses making a loop through the venues all evening. Please keep in mind the last bus run through the venues will take place at 11:45pm. (There will be no Oleta buses available after fireworks due to the large volume of attendees leaving at the same time so plan your parking accordingly.) The Colonial Williamsburg buses will run their normal routes from the Visitor Center with the last bus at 1:00 AM.
Parking is available on W&M Campus at the parking garage next to the campus police station on Ukrop Way and in the lots labeled, “Faculty & Staff” and “Students”. There is also a parking garage behind the Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance Building on N. Boundary Street. Limited parking is available at the Community Center, Zable Stadium and Campus Center parking lots. Parking also available at the garage on N. Henry St. and surface lots around Merchant’s Square. Buses will also run to the CW Visitor's Center until 1am.