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PHOTOS and VIDEO: Families, Friends and Fireworks for New Year’s Eve in Old Town Alexandria

Peaceful Crowds Funneled Though Kings Street for the Much Anticipated Countdown. 

Crowd of people walking in night with lit buildings on either side
Hundreds of visitors and locals wandered down to the Waterfront from their homes, hotels and Old Town establishments at around 23:00 to find a good spot for the firework display. (Photo: Eliza North)

ALEXANDRIA VA – As the clock struck midnight, the lively city of Alexandria came together at the water to embrace the arrival of the new year with an annual fireworks display. Families, friends, and individuals gathered in unity, creating a vibrant tapestry of diversity against the backdrop of the night sky.

Profile of people watching fireworks with sky in background and water in foreground.
Crowds gathered peacefully and people cheered together welcoming the New Year in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo: Eliza North)

The waterfront, usually a place of tranquility, transformed into a communal space where people from various backgrounds shared the joy of a new beginning. Bundled up against the cold, families stood patiently side by side, singing, laughing, and toasting to the promise of the year ahead. Some brought their furry friends along to the festive atmosphere and others brought blankets and chairs, creating makeshift cozy nooks as they awaited the countdown. The sound of laughter and the clinking of glasses echoed through the crowds. But despite the excitement, the crowd was calm and those celebrating were respectful of one another’s space. 

What made this gathering truly special was the cultural richness that defines Alexandria. Different accents and nationalities mingled harmoniously, yet when the countdown began, a collective hush fell upon the crowd. In that shared moment, everyone became one – a community bound together by the anticipation of a new chapter.

As the countdown began, the crowds cheered and a dazzling display of colors burst across the sky, each burst of light reflecting on the water. 

Fireworks in night sky in over water with reflections.
The firework display ushered in 2024 transforming the peaceful waterfront landscape into a dazzling scene. (Photos: Eliza North)

As the last echoes of the fireworks faded, the crowd began dispersing up Kings Street. Alexandria Police were there to help guide the crowds through traffic safely. Many wandered toward King Street Metro station but some chose to linger and continue their celebrations until the last call.

Colorful fireworks in night sky with reflections in water.
First Night Alexandria put on two shows of fireworks on New Year’s Eve 2023–one at 6 pm and one at midnight. (Photo: Eliza North)

For those who chose to stick around, they had to endure long lines at the door at most establishments, but that did not deter them. The buzz of crowds accented the chilly early morning in Old Town long after the countdown was over.

The crowd shuffling home after the fireworks.
The end of the fireworks, but not the end of the celebrations. The crowds disperse all over Old Town to find establishments still open so the festivities could continue. (Photo: Eliza North)



Eliza North

Eliza North is a British/American writer. She is currently a freelance reporter at Zebra Press. Eliza studied Social Sciences at Kensington and Chelsea College, and went on to earn her Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Kent in Canterbury England. She recently graduated from The University of Cambridge, earning her Masters degree in Creative Writing.

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