D.C. celebrations for Jan 1, 2000?

Old Sep 27th, 1999, 10:48 AM
Javier A. Galvan
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D.C. celebrations for Jan 1, 2000?

Does anybody know if D.C. is planning any celebrations for the end of the year (Dec 31 and Jan 1st)? We will be in D.C. from Dec 28th until Jabuary 5th. I'd sure appreciate any information. Thanks
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 02:12 PM
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I live in DC and from what I've read, there are plans for a day-long outdoor "party" on the Mall (that's the big open park-like land stripp between Capitol blvd and the monuments), so there will probably be events, booths, music, etc there -- finishing with fireworks at midnight on the Mall, just like on the 4th of July. Most of the stuff I've heard about is just private--ie, paying for a nice dinner or night out at a good restaurant or club, etc. But, looks like there will be free stuff for you to do on the Mall. Hopefully, it won't be too cold; temps can vary a lot at that time of year from zero to the 40s in day time.
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 05:04 AM
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See for more info on things going on in DC for the New Year. Was published in the Washington Post as a site to check out.
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 12:19 PM
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hmmm... well, I think the Wash Post didn't come up with such a great site here -- I looked at it out of curiosity and it didn't even list anything going on in DC special (like the party and fireworks on the Mall). So, that site doesn't seem to be of much help. There's a much better site at for what's going on in various cities (which includes info for DC)-- I think there's also something on the newspaper site that links to city festivities info.
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 07:46 AM
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There is a front-page article in today's Washington Post about the millenium celebration being planned on the mall. Here it is in its entirety, from the Post's website:

Will Smith To Ring In New Year On Mall
Multimillion-Dollar Events Announced

By Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 29, 1999; Page A01

Actor Will Smith will host Washington's ultimate party of '99, the
multimillion-dollar New Year's Eve celebration on the Mall for which a
who's who of rock, soul and blues music will sing backup, organizers
announced yesterday.

"Just imagine for a moment," first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton began at a
news conference that provided few new specifics of the free,
morning-to-midnight event but much lyrical description of its atmosphere and
purpose -- "the music of our century rocking and rolling, swinging and

Some of those tunes will be belted out by Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, and
B.B. King, who will perform during festivities that will stretch down the Mall
and also for several blocks along Constitution Avenue.

Come evening, the spotlight will shift to the Lincoln Memorial, where Smith
will lead a show to be produced by musician Quincy Jones and filmmaker
George Stevens Jr. And in the century's final hour, as composer John
Williams conducts an original orchestral score, an 18-minute movie by
Steven Spielberg will highlight major events of the last 100 years before a
high-tech sound and light display punctuates the first minute of 2000.

"It will be in the sky, and it will be inspiring," Stevens said yesterday.

"America's Millennium," as the family-friendly extravaganza is billed, is being
organized by the White House Millennium Council, Smithsonian Institution,
National Park Service and National Park Foundation. The city of
Washington, which will mark its bicentennial as the nation's capital in 2000, is
a partner in the planning.

The initial projection is for a turnout of 600,000 people. Only two gatherings
on the Mall have been bigger: President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965
inauguration and the 1976 bicentennial fireworks.

Already, the price tag has grown to $12.5 million from early estimates of $10
million. The total includes the lectures, demonstrations and performances
that the Smithsonian will present from Dec. 31 through Jan. 2, but does not
account for the city's companion block party along Constitution Avenue -- a
"Main Street Millennium" expected to resemble a winter carnival of
minstrels, magicians, acrobats and food tents between 10th and 14th streets
NW. The city has not yet hired a contractor to run its portion.

The entire celebration will be privately funded, organizers reiterated
yesterday, saying that with 95 days to go, half of the $12.5 million has been
raised. Democratic Party fund-raising magnate Terry McAuliffe, who
recently offered $1.3 million from his own accounts to guarantee a New
York house mortgage for the first lady and President Clinton, is leading the
money effort.

Despite some private concerns that the ambitious and time-pressed plans
may exceed funds -- the Smithsonian, for instance, has yet to receive a
budget for its role -- organizers were enthusiastic yesterday. One of the
guests they introduced was their first million-dollar contributor, Omaha
business executive Vinod Gupta. No other individual or corporate donors
were identified, nor was any cost breakdown discussed.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to unite our nation, to capture an
extraordinary moment in American and human history," said Hillary Clinton,
who was joined at the news conference by Stevens and D.C. Mayor
Anthony A. Williams (D).

With congressional representatives and local residents participating, the
weekend's opening ceremony will take place near the Capitol as a time
capsule is sealed with the reflections of national leaders in varied fields.
Throughout the day on Dec. 31, Clinton said, the Smithsonian will offer a
"digital time capsule" to which visitors can add their thoughts and wishes for
future generations.

Producer Stevens, the man behind the annual Kennedy Center honors
program and founder of the American Film Institute, gave no timetable for
releasing a full schedule of performers. For the moment, the publicity boasts
of bands, choirs and military marching units. Stevens acknowledged that
many celebrities were booked long ago but said it was not too late to get
commitments from others.

"It's a historic opportunity. You can perform in Las Vegas any night of the
year," he laughed.

One lure would be the likely worldwide audience. Organizers said CBS will
broadcast live from 10 p.m. through midnight, and arrangements to carry the
show around the globe are pending. Spielberg's movie, "The Unfinished
Journey," will be shown on two giant digital screens to be positioned on
either side of the Lincoln Memorial.

Although the Mall will return to normal Jan. 3, the city's bicentennial
commemoration will just be starting. James V. Kimsey, chairman emeritus
of America Online, is leading the steering committee of city and regional
leaders that will plan a year of programs and festivities and raise the private
funds to pay for them.

Mayor Williams's special assistant, Sandy McCall, said the calendar of
downtown and neighborhood events will not be publicized until January.
Kimsey's committee members, however, will be announced by early

"When [others] see this new board," McCall predicted, "they'll see there's
been an immense vote of confidence in this new mayor and the renaissance
of this city."

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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