First Night Harrisonburg canceled

Despite a drive to maintain community support for First Night Harrisonburg, the event’s board of directors has canceled the event for New Year’s Eve, 2011.

First Night Harrisonburg’s board is the primary organizational group of the annual Downtown Harrisonburg New Years Eve community festival. After a series of attempts to recruit volunteers and long deliberation, the crucial decision was made based primarily on manpower.

“Our event is one of many that demands the personal and fiscal support of the community,” said board president Karris Atkins. “Our team is down to small numbers, and we have been faced with a spiral of declining volunteerism combined with a serious drop in donations. These two ingredients tie together to make a large event like First Night practically impossible.”

The event has maintained donation funding from some key sources. However, supplementary donations have dropped, and a community drive for volunteers for both the board of directors and to staff the event has brought minor attention.

“Today’s culture is evolving, and the possibility of bringing First Night Harrisonburg back to full force is there. We just need the response from the community to declare that this event is vital and wanted,” Atkins said.

The future developments of First Night Harrisonburg are under discussion, and those interested in expressing their ideas may email their thoughts to volunteerfirstnight@gmail.com.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.


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