The Board of Directors for First Night of Williamsburg, Inc, is canceling First Night Williamsburg 2018 scheduled for December 31, 2017. Several reasons influenced the decision to cancel the event according to Co-Chairs, Chris Odle and John Michael, who issue the following statement on behalf of the entire Board.
“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. ... See MoreSee Less
First Night nationally has been declining for some time. In 2000 there were about 200 sites nationwide. Fewer than 50 in recent years. People don't realize the tremendous amount of work - mostly voluntary - required to put on this event. I was on the First Night board for several years and there have been several instances where there was discussion of how many more years it could go on. Kudos to all those volunteers who made this a success over the years. It's been a tough year for the arts and humanities around here.
I'm sad to read this post....but I commend Susan and the other hundreds of volunteers that have worked tirelessly on this event. I know how hard it must have been to make this decision. The lack of real funding and support for the arts in our community is an unfortunate and ever-present reality that all of the arts-related organizations are dealing with. ❤️
So sorry to hear this. We were always impressed with the volunteers and quality of performers and thoroughly enjoyed coming over the bridge from VAB each year to be part of the event.
I'm saddened that life's busyness bring organization to make these kinds of decisions ! It will be greatly missed on New year eve event . I ponder where the younger generation will learn about history and why most ppl with in 200 or 300 miles love and cherish where America begin as a nation . And we whomlive in Va are so blessed and enriched to know our heritage and the history of the humble origins of America as a fledgeling nation
To learn skills and other ways to survive in a new land . Most came to seek and embrace the American dream ! And America has been sweet and liberating to million of immigrants who live and enjoy all she gives her citizens .
So sorry to see this event cancelled. Many years I have celebrated New Year's Eve as a volunteer for First night. Will miss the fun!
Have only been twice, but certainly sorry to see this happen. Thank you, once and all, for your dedication.
I wonder how much impact holding the college football playoff games on New Years Eve has had on events like this.
Another reason to NOT move back to Wmbg.
Sad to hear this as we always had a wonderful time!
It's hard to believe we're closer to our next First Night event than our last event! Time is running out to submit your entertainer information to be part of the fun this year. Williamsburg is a great place to spend New Year's Eve so join us! ... See MoreSee Less
What happened between this July 8 post noting that time is running out for submitting entertainer info and the July 31 announcement that First Night is called off?
DEADLINE! August 15, 2017 for this year's Call for Performers. If you'd like to be considered for this year's First Night Williamsburg, please submit your information today! Limited spaces available and final schedule will be set by September ... See MoreSee Less
We are striving to make our 25th anniversary event full of fun and festive entertainment! We will be working to ensure a solid backup plan to our fireworks display this year so attendees can enjoy the end of year countdown. If you have suggestions or would like to contribute your talents this year, we'd love to hear from you! Please help our dedicated volunteers make this event a huge success! ... See MoreSee Less