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

For more information:

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.

Nacho Bizness: Popcorn & Hot Chocolate

Crazy Fox Coffee: Regular & Flavored Coffees

Snow Mountain Kettle Corn

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

BALL DROP: The ball drop begins at 11:58 PM.  At 11:15, DJ Chuck will lead the unique Dance Party from Main Stage on Court Square to the count down to the brand new year 2018.  Can we do the impossible this year?  Let’s set a record of holding the largest ever dance party on Court Square! Over 2,500 may break the record.  Can we do it?

Special Community Project

First Night is happy to  support our local United Way.  We endorse the great work they do in “uniting our community to empower people in need.”  They connect you to the issues you care most about and empower you to make an impact, right here in our local  community. To find out how you can make a difference, check out their website:

For the last 152 years, The Salvation Army has stood committed to serving God by    meeting human needs without discrimination. Each year, thousands of men, women, and children rely on The Salvation Army to care for the most basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing in Harrisonburg.  They stand ready to provide hope to our neighbors in need thanks to the generosity of this great community.  Captain John Blevins, Jr. Harrisonburg, VA


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 5:00 pm 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 wearing a button with a yellow ribbon 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 third year we are happy to welcome back DJ Charles Morris.  Chuck comes with 9 years experience, from the usual cookout all the way to the elegant weddings.  Any event, any time, DJ Chuck’s one of a kind!

Rockshow Lighting will provide a spectacular light show on Court Square, even better than last year.  Rockshow Lighting provides a comprehensive lighting package and programming throughout the evening for First Night Harrisonburg, 7:00 till midnight, ball drop time.