First night went on as re-planned in Alexandria, Virginia, Thursday night.
Usually a crowded street affair, First Night Alexandria was celebrated with two drive-in events instead because of the pandemic. And at a $60 admission charge, both the 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. events sold out.
Car horns replaced noisemakers and applause for bands and fireworks that were live and virtual.
“It's very different,” said First Night Alexandria Board member Charlotte Hall. “But it's called getting creative and having fun."
Hall said planning for the event started in September.
“We realized, OK folks, if we want to do First Night, the 26th year, we've got to get creative, because COVID is not going anywhere," she said.
Typically, the event also boosts businesses in Old Town. Organizers managed to work some of that in with restaurants. Some people picked up meals on the way in; others took advantage of food trucks.
A few miles away in Northwest D.C., the annual Sherman Circle ball drop was held at a social distance. The new year was counted in five hours early so the younger ones could enjoy it.