Triangle To-Do: First Night celebrates New Year’s Eve with Family, Arts in Mind

Posted on 12/20/14 No Comments


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It makes sense that New Year’s Eve has evolved into something more for adults than kids. After all, we have to stay up late to technically celebrate the coming of next year and alcohol is typically a part of it.

However, a number of years ago, the folks in Downtown Raleigh created an event called “First Night” that includes all kinds of family-oriented events. If you’re willing to let the kids stay up until the next day, then this new tradition may right for you.

The Kids Celebration starts at 2:00 p.m. on December 31. Children will be provided a number of activities on the Bicentennial Plaza inside the North Carolina Museum of History. There’s a craft event and kids can make their own comet to use in the First Night People’s Procession.

Along with all the stuff for kids, First Night is a celebration of the arts, meaning its full of live music, dance performances, comedians, and street performers of all varieties. The bands will range from bluegrass to alternative, folk to gospel. On hand will be acts like The Augustines, folk players The Lang Sisters, rock/alt group The Barefoot Movement, and the compelling trio of Juilliard graduates Sonic Escape, who have played for Carnegie Hall, as well as a number of rock clubs in New York City.

Of course, what’s a New Year’s event without a countdown? And since Raleigh is the City of Oaks, why not drop a giant lighted acorn at midnight? This terrific tradition has become a national symbol for our state’s capital and is annually one of the most attended events in the region.

First Night has grown to incorporate several blocks throughout Downtown Raleigh, so you may be doing a bit of walking to take it all in. Nevertheless, it will all be worth it.

Learn all you need to know about First Night Raleigh on its website.  Advance tickets are $10.00 and available at Harris Teeter, Rite Aid and the event’s website, linked above.

Have a great New Year!


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