2013 First Night entertainment set

Posted: December 8, 2012

The Winchester Star

First Night Winchester 2013 Chairman Shannon Atkinson-Ganoe announces the performers who will provide the entertainment during a news conference Friday at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Members of the Push to Start Band perform during a First Night Winchester 2013 news conference Friday at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The band will perform in the First Presbyterian Church danctuary during the New Year’s Eve celebration. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

Winchester — First Night Winchester is set to ring in 2013 with an evening of music, theatrics and activities for children and adults.

In its 26th year, the annual New Year’s Eve event — primarily held in downtown Winchester — continues to draw thousands of people for a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration, said Felicia Hart, executive director.

About 4,500 people bought buttons for $10 admission to last year’s First Night, an evening filled with entertainment at variety of locations, she said.

“Last year we ran out of buttons, which is a really nice problem to have,” said Hart.

Organizers announced seven new acts in this year’s schedule during a Friday press conference at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

The Push to Start Band, one of the new additions, performed at the event. The band will play its mixture of classic and contemporary pop, rock and country music during three First Night sets in the First Presbyterian Church at 116 S. Loudoun St.

“This music is one that appeals to all ages,” Hart said. “You listen to their songs and so many of us know those songs and can relate to them.”

Other new acts include: the Unicycle Lady, who performs a one-woman show with her dog Enzo; the Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers; and Spoon Man, an interactive comedian who plays the spoons, said Shannon Atkinson-Ganoe, First Night chairman.

The new entertainers will join returning acts such as the Yesterday Swing Orchestra, Brass 5, Improv 4 Kids, roving magician Kevin Owens and the Martinsburg Jazz Orchestra.

Artist-in-the-Window Kim Roluti will create a piece in the window of the Bright Center on the Loudoun Street Mall.

And as always, the evening will end with the Apple Drop and fireworks, Atkinson-Ganoe said. The 850-pound apple — made of steel and covered in red, white and green lights — will drop at Boscawen and Cameron streets.

“The area is packed with people. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year,” she said.

First Night founder and board member Kathy Nerangis presented the first button for this year’s event to Erik Zimmerman of Cross Junction, who designed it.

“Thank you for all the work you do for the community and now for First Night Winchester,” she said.

For the second consecutive year, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley will hold a coloring contest as part of First Night.

One participant from each of four age groups will win a one-year family membership to the MSV, four buttons to First Night, a package of McDonald’s restaurant gift cards and two tickets to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

The contest will continue through Dec. 28.

Coloring sheets can be downloaded from the museum’s website,shenandoahmuseum.org, or obtained at the MSV information desk, the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center and participating McDonald’s.

Buttons cost $10 each (with discounts for orders of three or more) and can be purchased online at firstnightwinchester.com or at the Apple Blossom Mall’s service desk, the Loudoun Street branch of the Bank of Clarke County, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Wilkins ShoeCenter, The Old Town General Store, the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center and Winchester Medical Center auxiliary gift shops. They will also be available in FNW Headquarters at 15 N. Loudoun St. from 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Call 540-533-5561.

— Contact Laura McFarland atlmcfarland@winchesterstar.com