Welcome to 2016! With the anticipated arrival of the New Year, families throughout Montgomery County joined millions across the country to watch the famous ball drop in Times Square. However, other New Year’s celebrations rippled through all of Montgomery County. From a Krumpe’s Donut Drop to a Family New Year’s Celebration hosted by Adventure Park, Montgomery County lacked nothing in terms of New Year festivities.
Montgomery County had many fun events scheduled, from large-scaled, multi-themed extravaganzas to smaller, more subdued music and art events to cater to people of all ages and interests. To much delight, the county’s New Year’s celebrations accommodated a wide variety of tastes and preferences.
Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary School took a cultural take on the dawning of the New Year. Students, staff, and parents ushered in the Year of the Horse with traditional dances, martial arts, and music, all performed by MCPS students from various Asian cultures. It was a grand event that honored Asian cultures and shared the true value and significance of diversity in our county.
A huge New Year’s Eve dance party was hosted by the Black Rock Center for the Arts, featuring two of the biggest bands in the region. BB&J staff served hot meals with some drinks while the Baltimore-based Junkyard Saints opened the show with party music, including a blend of modern jazz with James Brown-inspired rhythm. It was an exciting and packed event for those who like to party well into the night.
A more subdued but equally entertaining event was the Noon Yards event hosted by The Yards Park. The organization transformed the entire park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring a plethora of activities for children and adults alike. Some highlights of the day included balloon artists, music, dancing, kids crafts, face painters, and a huge balloon drop at 12pm – a fun take on the traditional ball drop.
The largest event, dubbed “First Night Alexandria,” is renowned as one of our area’s most impressive New Year’s celebrations. There were more than 100 performances on indoor stages in Old Town Alexandria, along with numerous kids activities, live entertainment, storytime, and more. In addition, there was food, music, singing, and dancing that attracted people of all ages. The night ended with an iconic display of fireworks on the Potomac River at the foot of Kings Street. Richard Montgomery Sophomore Ryan Choi remarked that it “was a truly marvelous display that catered to the multitude of interests of people of all ages. There was something fun for everyone, and it was overall a great night!”
Overall, 2016 started off with a blast, allowing families to come together to celebrate the arrival of a time of change, hope, and harmony.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Kyle Zhu of Richard Montgomery High School