For the first time in 25 years, the town of Leesburg, Va., will not usher in the new year with a "First Night" celebration.
Leesburg Town Manager John Wells made an announcement about the cancellation during a Town Council work session late last month. He said in a statement the cancellation of this year's event was "due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond control."
Each year the family-oriented event put on by the non-profit organization Bluemont attracts thousands of people to historic downtown Leesburg for a night filled with live performances. Approximately 4,000 people attended last year's festivities.
Bob Sevila, who serves as the First Night Leesburg Posse chairman and as a member of the Bluemont Board of Directors, said money was a major issue for the group this year.
"An unfortunate combination of factors had led to our decision to cancel, including persistent financial uncertainties and the untimely injury and slow recovery of key Bluemont staff leaders," Sevila said in a statement.
Both the Town of Leesburg and Bluemont will be working together in the coming months to assure that Bluemont can continue programs in the future. If you are interested in helping, you can contact the transition team at firstname.lastname@example.org. There's also a link to First Night Warrenton for families looking for a nearby event on Bluemont's website.