Raleigh, N.C. — Thousands gathered in front of downtown Raleigh's giant acorn Wednesday night to bring in 2015 as part of First Night Raleigh.
This year's First Night Raleigh theme was “Out of This World." The New Year's Eve celebration included music, children’s activities and other festivities.
Festivities kicked off at 2 p.m. with the Children’s Celebration at the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and outdoors on the Bicentennial Plaza.
Performances at the Main Stage began earlier than past years, starting at 4 p.m. Later into the night, the streets of Raleigh came alive with performances in more than 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh and a First Night tradition, the People’s Procession.
Hailed by iTunes as “Best Alternative Album” with their recent release Rise Ye Sunken Ships, AUGUSTINES headlined this year’s main stage. Ira David Wood III returned as the countdown master of ceremonies, with the famous acorn dropping at midnight as fireworks were shot into the night sky.
The Fantastical First Night Ferris Wheel returned to Fayetteville Street this year and, in keeping with the “Out of This World” theme, First Night Raleigh 2015 also hosted an “Alien Abduction” ride for festival-goers.
Other artists scheduled to appear included: The Barefoot Movement, Raleigh’s own The Love Language, African American Dance Ensemble, Amelia Curran, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, North Carolina Opera singers, PopUp Chorus, Amelia Curran, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Old Man Luedecke, Sonic Escape, Moving Pieces interactive theater, “Out of This World” installation by Greg Carter, Comedy Worx, Transactors Improv Company, El Gleno Grande and many more.
Raleigh artist Greg Carter created whimsical and colorful creations to display in PNC Plaza. The North Carolina State University instructor said he wants people to have fun viewing his work.
"The fact that so many people are alone, the art tries to say 'you share things in common with other people, you share stuff with the rest of your city, the rest of your community, and we are all in this together,' so that's kind of my spin on the season," Carter said.
Share your celebration on social media
Use hashtag #FNRaleigh