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US: Alexandria, VA – Your Destination for a Family Friendly New Year’s Eve

This annual New Year’s Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 150 performances at 23 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, children’s face painting and games. First Night Alexandria is a celebration of the new year through the performing arts. Retail stores, hotels, museums and public buildings are turned into performance venues to showcase incredible local and regional talent.

For a small fee for adults (children 12 and under are free), you have access to all the entertainment, all evening. Everything is within easy walking distances. The afternoon’s Ninth Annual Fun Hunt with all-new activities for families and pets. There’s a venue at the Mount Vernon Fireworks 2014 - 2Recreation Center in Del Ray filled with fun activities for children 10 and younger, dancing in the street at the east end of King Street beginning at 10 pm and the piece de resistance is the First Night’s fireworks finale with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight. First Night Alexandria is so packed with entertainment, you will have a hard time deciding which performances to attend.

Event Schedule and Locations:
10:00am Noon Year’s Eve – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
12pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church –301 South Alfred Street Alexandria
1pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
1pm Hooray For Books! – 1555 King Street, #101, Alexandria, VA 22314
1pm Olio – Oil & Vinegar Tasting – Olio Tasting Room. 1223 King Street, Alexandria, VA
1:30pm The Art League Gallery – 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm 9th Annual Fun Hunt – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Kid’s Art for Animal Adoptions – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Mobile Art Lab – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Pottery at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm TC Williams Jazz Band – Embassy Suites Hotel, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA
2pm Ten Thousand Villages –Ten Thousand Villages, 915 King Street, Alexandria, VA
2pm Thinkfun Family Game Room – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street
2:30pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
4pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Amazing Clowns – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Let’s Make a Face – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Seaworthy Small Ships –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
6pm An Old Fashioned Carnival – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Becky’s Balloon Animals – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Blue Sky Puppets – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
6pm How-To Cowboy: Jokefest – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Kickoff and Drawing for Fun Hunt Prize Winners – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
6pm Rainbow Rock Band – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave
6:15pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
6:45pm Mister Don – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
6:45pm Virginia Bronze – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
7pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Amateur Facepainters – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
7pm Blue Moon Cowgirls –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
7pm Blue Sky Puppets – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station | 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria
7pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street
7pm Dr. Robert Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
7pm Irish Breakfast Band
7pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Lesson Zero – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street, Alexandria
7pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
7pm Primary Colors – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Ruthie & the Wranglers – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria,
7pm Stairwells –Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria
7pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm The Grandsons – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
7pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm The Truehearts –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church –301 South Alfred Street Alexandria, VA
7:30pm Battle of the Local Stars –Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria
7:30pm How-To Cowboy: Jokefest- Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
7:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Razor Hill – Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Tom Teasley Duo –Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Virginia Bronze –George Washington Masonic Memorial,101 Callahan Drive
7:45pm Billy Coulter Band- Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
7:45pm Bill Kirchen –Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
7:45pm Janine Wilson Band- American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria
7:45pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7:45pm Mark Wesling –Alexandria’s Union Station-110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
7:45pm Mike Rose- Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:45pm Nicole Belanus –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
7:45pm Nobody’s Business –Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
7:45pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street
7:45pm Sound of Sleat – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7:45pmWashington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet –Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm Al Petteway & Amy White – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax St.
8pm Blue Sky Puppets-George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
8pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:15pm Mister Don- Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue
8:30pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
8:30pm Blue Moon Cowgirls –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street
8:30pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station | 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria
8:30pmCurtis Blues  –Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch,717 Queen Street
8:30pm Dr. Robert Band –Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
8:30pm Irish Breakfast Band –Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
8:30pm Katherine Archer- Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Lesson Zero –Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
8:30pm Mike Rose –Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Pete Farnham- Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
8:30pm Razor Hill – Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Ruthie & the Wranglers –American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street
8:30pm The Grandsons – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street
8:30pm The Truehearts  –George Washington Masonic Memorial,101 Callahan Drive
8:30pm Tom Teasley Duo- Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:45pmVirginia Bronze- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos- Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA
9pm Stairwells – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street
9pm The Glimpses  – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
9pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio –Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:15pm Bill Kirchen – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Billy Coulter Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
9:15pm Janine Wilson Band – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria
9:15pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9:15pm Mark Wesling – Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
9:15pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:15pm Nicole Belanus –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Nobody’s Business – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
9:15pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Sound of Sleat – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9:15pm Washington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street
9:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Keira Moran- Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
9:30pm Razor Hill- Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Tom Teasley Duo – Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Al Petteway & Amy White – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax St.
10pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
10pm Blue Moon Cowgirls- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
10pm Christ Church Sanctuary- Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
10pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
10pm Dr. Robert Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
10pm Irish Breakfast Band – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
10pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Lesson Zero – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street, Alexandria
10pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Ruthie & the Wranglers – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street
10pm Stairwells – Alexandria Waterfront, King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm The Grandsons –Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
10pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pmThe Truehearts –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church, 301 South Alfred Street Alexandria
10:30pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen St.
10:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10:30pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
10:30pm  Tom Teasley Duo – Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10:45pm Bill Kirchen – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
10:45pm Billy Coulter Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
10:45pm Janine Wilson Band- American Legion Post 24,400 Cameron St., Alexandria
10:45pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10:45pm Mark Wesling- Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
10:45pm Nicole Belanus- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
10:45pm Nobody’s Business – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
10:45pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington St, Alexandria
10:45pm Sound of Sleat  – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10:45pm Washington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet –Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
12am Fireworks on the River! – Alexandria Waterfront, King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Location: Old Town, Alexandria, VA
Date: Sun, Dec 31st, 2017
Times: 10am – midnight
Tel: 703-746-3299
firstnightalexandria.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitalexandriava.com

US: Fredericksburg, VA – Early Countdown for New Year’s and Ping Pong Drop with Prizes

Trying to decide how to bring in the New Year? How about a  family-friendly, FREE celebration “ Downtown 31st” – Finale Event held for kids and adults in Riverfront Park and at Market Square for teens, both  in downtown downtown-31-fredericksburgFredericksburg. This alcohol-free event has an early countdown and is a fun way to culminate the New Year with family and friends of all ages.

With loads of entertainment: Live Music and Dancing, Teen Area, Children’s Area, Games & Interactive Activities, Line Dancers , Entertainers, Crafts, Moon bounce, Food Vendors, Snow Maze, and Burn regrets and share new resolutions. There’s definitely something for everyone at this street party.fredericksburg-xmas

The piece de resistance is the Ping Pong Ball Drop at 9 pm that will be dropping 3,000+ ping pong balls including 100+ winning prize balls. Be sure to check out the selfie holiday cards in Riverfront Park.ping-pong-drop-fredericksburg-instagram

Location: Riverfront Park, 600 Sophia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Date: Sat, Dec 31, 2016
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm
Tel: 540-372-1086
downtown31.com/finale-event
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com

Canada – Ontario Weekend Getaway: Low Fat Donuts, Fair Trade Coffee, Chainsaws and Friendly Alpacas

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Why not get away with your family to Almonte, ON, just west of Ottawa . The very first reason is that Ed Atwell of Healthy Food Technologies (hft) has figured out how to make low-fat donuts that are scrumptious. He “tricks” the donuts by frying them (in zero trans fat oil) for 1/2 the time and then baking them at the same temperature. Watch the video to see him explain the process he invented.

Now take a walk around the corner and pick up your to-go-with coffee at fair trade high quality Equator Coffee Roasters. They roast the beans right there, having bought them from small-scale farming communities and paid the farmers well. Do not  miss the Oh-so-Canadian maple-flavored latte. It’s worth driving there just for that! Kids can enjoy the hot chocolate.coffee


Next you can pick up snacks for the car or yummies to take home at Dandelion Foods co-op before a 45 min. drive to Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp. D
andelion Foods co-op sells whole, local and organic foods and some for specialty diets. Here you can buy the famous Hummingbird chocolate bars favored by Prime Minister Trudeau. Note the PB & Joy (with peanut butter) and the spicy Mayan.  Please bring back the Empire Cheese caramelized onion cheddar cheese for me.
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For lunch and fun, at Wheelers Pancake House you can visit the Maple Museum and the Chainsaw & Logging museum and the kids can have fun in the playground. Handy men and women will be mesmerized by Mark Wheeler’s dad Vernon’s collection of hundreds of chainsaws. Everyone will enjoy his “largest collection of pure maple syrup artifacts” which help explain the history of the maple sugar industry. From First Nations wooden spigots to the plastic lines of today, syrup pour-ers, molds, pails, and everything else related to this sweet topic, it’s all here at this 38-year family business. Don’t forget to leave room for the freshly made pancakes and delicious syrup right from their trees.
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For the grand finale, we visited Keith and Elizabeth Adam’s alpacas and llamas at their  Serendipity Farm. For retirement they decided to raise alpacas for the fun of it. The couple exudes their enjoyment of spending their golden years with these elegant, fluffy friends. They’ll chatter about the little quirks of each of the animals as well as the work associated with raising them.

Alpacas produce fiber that is as fine as cashmere, soft, silky and much warmer than sheep’s wool, while also wicking moisture away from the body.alpacas
In their little shop you can buy scarves, gloves, purses, as well as fiber felted sheets, alpaca and fiber rovings and handspun yarn.

Leave some time too for the local shops which wind their way along the downtown streets. Yes there’s plenty to do in Lanark County for a low-key interesting getaway weekend. We are not sure how this area attracted so many hippie/free trade/entrepreneurial types who seem to care for the planet. You can feel virtuous spending time and money in this town.

Equator Coffee Roasters, 451-A Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0, Tel: 613-256-5960
www.equator.ca

Dandelion Foods, 541 Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0,  Tel: 1-613-256-4545
www.dandelionfoods.ca

Healthy Food Technologies, 25 Industrial Rd., Almonte ON  Tel: 613-256-9900
(HFT) https://www.facebook.com/HFTinc

Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp, 1001 Highland Line, McDonalds Corners(Lanark Highlands), ON K0G 1M0 Tel: 613-278-2090
www.wheelersmaple.com

Serendipity Farm Alpacas & Llamas,  929 South Lavant Rd, Lanark, ON K0G1K0  Tel: 613-259-3304 or 613-222-6303
www.serendipityalpacas.ca

www.lanarkcounty.ca