New Virginia law forces First Night Alexandria to be fireworks free

Our region's largest New Year's Eve celebration is getting an extreme makeover this year, thanks to a new Virginia law.

This year's First Night Alexandria celebration will be fireworks free.

It's a 17-year tradition. The firework show shot off from the Masonic Temple. But the highly anticipated end to the evening will be completely different this year and the organizers really don't have any choice in the matter.

A new Virginia law, enacted after several unfortunate accidents involving pyrotechnics, has made it nearly impossible to turn the night sky into a sparkling scene in places like Alexandria.

"They increased the setback laws so that they take the explosives further away from the people," says Ann Dorman, First Night Alexandria Director. "So there's just nowhere in an urban community like this where we could do the fireworks."

Instead, revelers can expect a laser light show.

As the laser light show is wrapping up, they will be dropping 6,000 ping-pong-size balls on all the spectators, along with directions on how those little balls could help them win $500.