ABOUT US

Mission

The mission of First Night Winchester, Inc. is to bring friends and families together to unite our community in all its diversity through the visual and performing arts.

History

In 1986, a First Night organizer in Leesburg, VA contacted Kathy Nerangis of Winchester about contributing financially to a new event;  a family-friendly, non-alcoholic, celebration of the arts event to be held on December 31st as an alternative way of welcoming the New Year.  

Through several meetings of volunteer citizens and many community leaders, First Night Winchester held its first event on Dec. 31, 1987.  To the delight of the organizers 1,800 people attended the inaugural event in Old Town Winchester, Virginia.  Since that time, First Night Winchester has become a highly respected family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts for the entire community and surrounding areas.  

First Night Winchester has persevered for three decades thanks to the support of the churches, civic organizations, museums, service clubs, retirement communities, public buildings, government agencies and local business owners collaborating together to welcome its community members.  The humble beginnings of the organization has grown into a time honored tradition; thousands perform and volunteer their time.  Now, First Night Winchester can attract 10,000 people in a single night.  Over the years this has amounted to more than 100,000 that have attended, an accomplishment none anticipated in 1987.  

First Night Winchester operates as a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.  A dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors meets year-round to plan the event.  At the peak of First Night USA, there were more than 200 cities, both nationally and internationally producing a First Night event. Today, First Night Winchester is one of only 36 remaining cities that continue the New Year’s Eve tradition, making it the 5th oldest in the country. First Night Winchester celebrates 31 years on December 31, 2017.

Current Board of Directors

Executive Officers

Christine Germeyer Executive Director
Christine Germeyer Executive Director
Shannon Ganoe Chair
Shannon Ganoe Chair
David André
Vice Chair
David André Vice Chair
Gary Ganoe
Treasurer
Gary Ganoe Treasurer
Laura Frappollo
Secretary
Laura Frappollo Secretary

Board Members

Linda Coffman
Linda Coffman
Corey MacKnight
Corey MacKnight
Jim and Ann Taylor
Jim and Ann Taylor

Not pictured:
Jason Pagan

Emeritus

Kathy Nerangis
Kathy Nerangis

Not pictured:
B. J. Fawcett