A hearty thanks to all who helped make our 2012 First Night Warrenton an incredible success here in Fauquier County this year: great entertainment, great teamwork, great sponsors and great weather.
Conservative estimates put the evening's attendance a more than 1,000, a wonderful turnout of a great community.
Bluemont is most grateful for the generous outpouring of support from many businesses and organizations throughout the community these past few weeks.
To give credit where due, we send very special thanks to Sean Polster and the Warrenton Christmas Parade, whose timely generosity and partnership truly helped make First Night Warrenton happen this year.
On a beautiful and mild winter evening between 7 p.m. and midnight, Bluemont's First Night Warrenton presented a wonderful variety of 21 performing groups and activities, totaling 55 performances at 12 toasty-warm indoor sites.
At midnight, hundreds of friends and families gathered at the beautiful Fauquier County Courthouse for the Grand Illumination; a candle-lit sing-along with a dramatic countdown into the new year as the Old Courthouse bell pealed out 12 times for good fortune for us all in 2013.
First Night Warrenton is made possible by a broad coalition of public and private support. Our 2012 partners and sponsors include the Town of Warrenton, Airlie Foundation, Oak View National Bank, Ned Poffenberger, AIA Architecture and Art, Country Chevrolet, The Fauquier Hospital, Explosive Countermeasures International, McKinsey Development, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our patrons include Judy and Michael Lamana, County of Fauquier, Hampton Inn, Middleburg Bank, Moser Funeral Home, Miller Orthodontics, Skyworld Aviation, The Fauquier Bank, NOVEC, Bohler Engineering, Lawrence J. Finkel, M.D., Summit Community Bank, A West Clean Air Systems, Essar Aviation, Puro Clean, Tent Events of Warrenton, Piedmont Pediatrics, Warrenton Toyota Scion, Wells Fargo Advisers, Fauquier Now, and Times Community Media.
First Night Warrenton is a non-profit Bluemont community project. It is created each year by a special Bluemont committee of more than 70 volunteers, 50 financial sponsors, and an estimated 550 volunteer hours of preparation, presentation and cleanup.
It involves families, businesses and civic organizations from all over our community.
A special thanks to our 2012 First Night Steering Committee: 2012 chairperson Ann Martella, Helen Saulsbury, Marsha Melkonian, Sarah Sitterle, Paula Rabkin, Darlene Constant, Kelli Gatewood, Holly Constant, Kelp Armstrong, Brad Morrison, Sgt. George Southard, Kathie Haggerty, Katie Heritage, John Utz, Ken McLawhon, Lily Dunning, and Peter Dunning.
Our full list of 2012 First Night support organizations, donors, and volunteers will be recognized in our official thank-you ad posted in local newspapers, the Bluemont website, and on Bluemont's Facebook page later this month.
Over the next few months, Bluemont will be working on a plan to assure adequate and timely support for all our programs (including First Night Warrenton) in the Warrenton/Fauquier community.
First Night Warrenton wishes a very happy New Year to all in our community for 2013.
Lily Rose Dunning
First Night Warrenton