Happy New Year! Here's hoping yours is enjoyable, productive and healthy.
We rang in the New Year at First Night Alexandria. For the price of $20, starting at 7 p.m., you could enter various venues in Old Town Alexandria and hear 30-minute concerts until midnight. We loved the variety of settings and music. At the Lyceum Hall built in 1839, we saw the "Not So Modern Jazz Quartet Plus One," whose performers in their 70s still had the magic touch. They were followed by "The Sound of Sleat," a band that played Irish and Scottish music, with bagpiper.
In the Torpedo Factory, where artists sell their wares in a former World War II torpedo factory, we enjoyed the rock 'n' roll music of Bill Kirchen, up from Austin, Texas. Man, can he play the guitar! Nicole Belanus, a folk singer with a voice like Joni Mitchell, performed in the Alexandria City Hall, with a Christmas tree sporting red glass ornaments and bows in the foyer. And a men's a capella group from William and Mary College sang outdoors by the waterfront, where ships were decked out in colored lights for the holidays.
Being the early birds that we are, we left before midnight which helped us avoid drunk drivers, or any kind of drivers. We like arriving home safely!
A big thank you to Chuck and Joanne Chada, who hosted the family Christmas get-together at their home in Rochester, New York.