Please see the Entertainment Page for a detailed schedule of events and map of locations.

Plan in Advance

Plan your route in advance and allow ample time to get from one performance venue to the next.  Admission to performances is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Venues often fill up quickly so plan to arrive approximately 10-15 minutes before each performance.

First Night – Held Rain or Shine

Dress in layers for inside and outside activities. (*activities will not be canceled as long as conditions are safe for both participants and attendees.  If conditions are deemed “unsafe” such as a blizzard,etc. please check First Night Harrisonburg Facebook, Local News Sources, and The City of Harrisonburg’s Information pages)


The Food Vendors: Located on Court Square and Pendleton Bank Parking lot.

Strite’s Donuts are back by popular demand. They have several surprises this year.
Tres Leche Delights: Popcorn, Hot Chocolate, Country Ham & Roast Beef Sandwiches
Crazy Fox Coffee: Regular & Flavored Coffees
The Ice Cream Pedaler: New this year.
Court Square Coffee: 2 N Main St.

Food is always associated with celebrations. In addition to vendors on Court Square, there are many great restaurants and businesses downtown that will have their doors open New Year’s Eve. First Night wants everyone to celebrate and enjoy themselves at this Festival of Arts event. We welcome suggestions and comments to improve this annual event.

Ball Drop

The ball drop begins at 11:59 PM. But for a special treat this year beginning at 11:15, join Jim Bishop on Court Square to dance and to count down to the brave new year 2017 with the Hokey-Pokey, Cupid Shuffle, the Chicken Dance, the Twist, the Macarena and more. It’ll literally be a ball! The disco ball will drop from a crane on Court Square. Join your neighbors in the final countdown to midnight.

Special Community Project

First Night is happy to encourage the good work of the local Church World Service Immigration and Refugee office. An important role of the organization is working with newly arrived refugees fleeing persecution and war. Church World Service Immigration and Refugee provides support via housing, employment, ESL and other services as they become self sufficient and integrated into the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area.

If interested, contact Jim Hershberger, Director, 250 East Elizabeth Street Suite 215, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802, Office Phone:  540.217.4588

First Night Invitational Celebrating the Arts in Harrisonburg

 The Arts Council of the Valley invited 25 artists to participate by submitting pieces of art on the theme of “celebration”, a way of honoring the 25th anniversary of First Night Harrisonburg. The art work will be on display in the Marketplace Gallery, Location: The lobby of Court Square Theater and Capital Ale House at 41 Court Square. Please come by and cast your vote for the best art piece.
Also, visit the collection of First Night Buttons, a tradition that started the same year the posters were first published, December 31, 1992. Location: The lobby of Court Square Theater and Capital Ale House at 41 Court Square.


Please see the Entertainment Page for a detailed schedule of events and map of locations.


Parking is available in the two parking decks located downtown. Additional parking options are highlighted on the map. If anyone needs assistance with the aid of a golf cart ride from one location to another, call or text 540-810-1246.

  • Water Street Parking Deck –  located between West Water Street and West Bruce Street, accessible from both of these roads
  • Elizabeth Street Parking Deck – located off of North Mason Street, accessible from Wolfe Street and Elizabeth Street

Street Closures

Street Closures for First Night from 5:00pm until the event concludes

  • Main Street from Franklin to Elizabeth Street
  • Court Square

Performance Venues

Smoking is not permitted in public buildings. Food and drink are not permitted except where sold at event concessions. Seating is first-come, first-served, and all venues will be emptied before the next seating begins. Please respect houses of worship and help us keep all program areas and downtown clean by depositing trash in public receptacles.


Most performance venues have restrooms and are handicap accessible. Additional restrooms are located on the south end of the Court House (5:00 PM till Midnight)


Volunteers with yellow ribbons hanging from their First Night buttons will be more than happy to assist you. Please ask a volunteer if you have questions. Volunteers will also have buttons for purchase near most of the venues from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Please see the volunteer page for more information.

Main Stage DJ

For the second year we are happy to welcome back DJ Charles Morris. Chuck comes with 8 years experience, from the usual cookout all the way to the elegant weddings. Any event, any time, DJ Chuck’s one of a kind!