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Morning Notes

Local Housing Alliance Says Rent Assistance is Underutilized — “It is estimated anywhere between 263,000 and 384,000 households are at risk of eviction in Virginia. NVAHA Executive Director Michelle Krocker said local governments have been so busy aiding that they have not been able to compute proper data, but she predicts thousands of tenants and landlords in Northern Virginia are missing out on funds meant for them.” [WUSA9]

Zebra Profiles Alexandria Gazette GoFundMe — “Ask any group of people in town about the historic Alexandria Gazette Packet, and voices will quickly rise up, volunteering things like “I used to deliver the Gazette”, “My dad delivered the Gazette on his bicycle in Rosemont”, “My birth was announced in the Gazette” or “I remember when they merged with the Port Packet back in the eighties.” [Zebra]

Metrobus Resumes Fares, but DASH Remains Free — “With other regional bus systems preparing to resume fare collection in early January, Alexandria’s DASH Bus will remain fare free.” [Patch]

Drive-In First Night Sells Out — “Usually a crowded street affair, First Night Alexandria was celebrated with two drive-in events instead because of the pandemic. And at a $60 admission charge, both the 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. events sold out.” [NBC4]

COVID-19 Cases Hit New High in Virginia — “Virginia and two of its five health regions hit new highs Saturday for average daily COVID-19 cases reported, the state wrapped up one of its worst weeks yet in terms of deaths from the virus, and test positivity rates are rising rapidly.” [Inside Nova]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

What’s Open and What’s Closed Over Holidays — “All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, in observance of Christmas; and on Friday, January 1, 2021, in observance of New Year’s Day.” [Zebra]

City Releases Guide to Safely Celebrating Holidays — “This year, the best gift for friends and family is continued good health. With COVID-19 cases surging, it is more important than ever to stay home, wear a mask, maintain 6 feet of distance, and wash your hands frequently.” [City of Alexandria]

First Night Alexandria Themes Celebration ‘Night of Nostalgia’ — “Residents and visitors can load up their cars and celebrate the arrival of 2021 on Dec. 31 at 5001 Eisenhower Ave. in the West End of Alexandria with a drive-in concert experience of pre-recorded music and comedy projected on the big screen.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Ada’s On the River to Open Mid-January — “Ada’s on the River, the first restaurant concept at the Robinson Landing development in Alexandria, is slated to open in mid-January.” [Patch]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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In light of the worsening pandemic, the traditional First Night Alexandria festivities have been adapted to a hybrid drive-in and virtual experience.

The program will include pre-recorded comedy and musical programs projected onto a big movie screen.

“New this year, the 26th annual First Night Alexandria presents ‘A Night of Nostalgia,’ a New Year’s Eve drive-in and virtual concert experience for the entire family on December 31, 2020,” event organizers said in a press release. “First Night Alexandria, a capstone holiday event in Alexandria usually in the format of a live music and performing arts festival, adjusted its format to COVID-19, offering families and friends a safe and enjoyable experience to ring in the New Year.”

The family-friendly program is scheduled for New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) with an early show and a later one. The early program starts at 6:30 p.m. and promises to have the kids home by bedtime. A later program, at 9:30 p.m., will ring in the new year.

For the distanced drive-in experience, tickets are $60 per vehicle, which includes access to a food truck, a goody bag, prizes, access to the big-screen program and fireworks set to music. A $75 ticket gets a premium spot with early access, an enhanced goody bag, and an encore presentation of the show.

The virtual version is $20 with a link to the live-streamed program.

Image courtesy First Night Alexandria

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