First Night festivities draw huge crowds
Posted December 31, 2012
Updated January 1, 2013
Thousands of people crowded the streets of downtown Raleigh for the city's annual First Night celebration on Monday, signaling the beginning of 2013.
This year's circus theme featured the return of the Ferris wheel, carnival games and fried food stands in addition to Raleigh's very own acorn drop.
Dozens of venues offered live entertainment before Delta Rae hit the main stage in City Plaza to ring in the new year.
Earlier this afternoon, families went downtown for the Children's Celebration, where kids could play games, make crafts and see the early acorn drop. The People's Procession kicked off the main celebration at 6 p.m. with crowds of participants parading through the streets.
"I come every year to First Night, just to be in the People's Procession because it's so unstructured. Anybody can be a part of it," said Phyllis Gordon, a First Night Raleigh attendee.
One of this year's new attractions included a Jumbo Drop, which took riders high into the Fayetteville Street sky.