Final preps underway for First Night Raleigh

Posted December 29, 2013

First Night Raleigh on Fayetteville Street Dec. 31, 2012 (Chris Baird/WRAL Contributor)

— With 2014 just around the corner, organizers spent Sunday putting the last-minute touches on downtown Raleigh's 23rd annual New Year's Eve party, First Night Raleigh, which will feature a Ferris wheel, a carousel, dozens of entertainment venues and 2013's big finale – the Raleigh Acorn Drop.

"First Night Raleigh is where you want to be, said Terri Dollar, executive director of Artsplosure, the nonprofit presenting this year's event. "Even if you're having your own private dinner or you're planning your own private celebration later on, come down for a couple of hours, spend a little part of your New Year's with your community."

The fun begins at 2 p.m. with the Children's Celebration at Bicentennial Plaza at the North Carolina Museum of History and Natural Sciences.

Fireworks and an early New Year's acorn drop for children are at 7 p.m., and the second drop and grand finale is at midnight.

This year, Dollar says, there will be an international feel to the festivities with performances from all over the world.

"We've got music from Moscow. We've got Chinese dancers," she said. "We've got music from Prince Edward Island in Canada."

A $13 all-day pass for adults grants admission to nearly 100 performances in three locations across downtown as well as other activities. Children ages 6 to 12 can get all-day access for $10, and children under the age of 5 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult with a pass.

Country singer Jason Michael Carroll, who is from Youngsville, will be performing songs from his new album on the WRAL stage on City Plaza. Tune in to hear him live on WRAL's First Night Raleigh coverage beginning at 10 p.m.

First Night Raleigh has a free smartphone app available for download from iTunes or Google Play that will provide information while on the go, including where to park and where performances will be held.


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  • Paul M Dec 31, 2013

    It's last night Raleigh. It's being done on the 31st till the MORNING of the fisrt. So maybe last night and first morning ?

  • silvfx Dec 30, 2013

    If it was free there would still be complainers and they would blame Obama. If $46 is too much money for a family of 4 please stay home and watch Dick Clark's replacement. This is an outstanding event and is one of the reasons this area attracts people. It's part of quality of life.

  • dwntwnboy2 Dec 30, 2013

    "Ticket is $13 and how much to park?"- depends on where you park. Could be as little as free if you find a spot on the street up to $10-15 if you park by time at the Marriott. Most parking decks should be in the $7 range like they are for other events like concerts and other festivals.

  • superman Dec 30, 2013

    Ticket is $13 and how much to park?

  • dwntwnboy2 Dec 30, 2013

    Well, it's put on by Artsplosure, not the city, so their pockets aren't as deep. Plus, with that ticket price "A $13 all-day pass for adults grants admission to nearly 100 performances in three locations across downtown as well as other activities"- even if you only see a fraction of the performances or attractions, seems like you get your money's worth. Everything has a cost- someone has to pay. It's the world we live in now- nothing is free any more.

  • tuckerbrian54 Dec 30, 2013

    Why is there a cost for this event ? It cost like $8.00 to get into the state fair and you get awhole lot more than what you would for this event. A family of 4 will pay avg of $46.00 for this event when Raleigh offers several Free events with music during the year on Fayetteville st, so why a cost now ? I know there's always been a charge, like $5.00 before, but now it's way too much for outdoor cold enjoyment.