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Acorn arrives ahead of Raleigh's First Night celebrations

Posted December 20, 2016

— The centerpiece for Raleigh's First Night celebrations arrived Tuesday morning as the frantic pace to prepare for the New Year's Eve party is taking over downtown.

Musician Freddy Green, who goes by the name Street Genie, said people need to look forward to 2017, as the turbulent presidential election is now behind us.

"We're all hoping for the best, and many of us are wondering if it will be for the worst," he said.

But Raleigh is now pushing forward and ramping up for the big night.

The acorn was being readied Tuesday for the drop, but before the nut falls, a piece by artist Matt McConnell goes up.

"We are ready for new exciting things, and ready for some new energy," McConnell said.

McConnell created a white screen to display video art in the public space along Fayetteville Street. It premieres on New Year's Eve.

"It brings a new level of art work to downtown Raleigh," he said. "The presentations of video art is ot often seen at this scale, it's often video screens in windows and galleries and this brings it out to the downtown area."

The acorn drops at 7 p.m. for children, and then again at midnight as part of First Night Raleigh.

The acorn drop has been a Triangle tradition since 1992.

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