First Night Raleigh is encouraging participants to “Experience New Year's Eve around the World” with its annual, all-day celebration in downtown Raleigh.
First Night Raleigh, now in its 23rd year, is an annual Raleigh tradition presented by Artsplosure celebrating the new year.
This year's event will feature Big Sam's Funky Nation headlining the mainstage on City Plaza leading up to a countdown to midnight and dropping of Raleigh's giant copper acorn hosted by local actor and director Ira David Wood III.
Prior to the midnight countdown, an early countdown and accord drop will be hosted for the kids who have to go to bed early. The early countdown will be capped with fireworks at 7 p.m.
In keeping with the “Around the World” theme, artists from the U.K., China, Belize, South Africa, India and Prince Edward Island, Canada, will be appearing across 34 venues spanning 24 blocks of downtown Raleigh.
New attractions at First Night Raleigh this year are a traditional Carousel and the Rock Star thrill ride. Both amusements will be located on Fayetteville Street and will open to the public at 2 p.m.
Artists scheduled to appear include: Ten Strings and a Goatskin, The Gawler Sisters, Lenore Raphel Trio, Tim Gabriel's Little World, Moscow Nights, Hindugrass, Michael Stanwood, Doug Prescott Band, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, The Lollipops, Josh Dumbleton, James Hill, African American Dance Ensemble, Transactors Improv Company, Comedy Worx, Lenny Marcus Trio, Fran Smith, Lonnie Walker Band, N.C. Opera and many more.
Admission passes (buttons or wristbands worn by festival attendees) are now on sale for $10 in advance and will provide full access to all First Night Raleigh venues and activities.