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First Night Activities To Focus on Fayetteville Street

Posted December 26, 2006

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— The annual First Night Raleigh celebration will take advantage of the reopened Fayetteville Street for many New Year's Eve activities.

First Night activities traditionally have been spread across downtown, but organizers said more will be held within walking distance of Fayetteville Street on Sunday night.

"It seemed so spread out. You didn't get a feeling for the event. I think being back on Fayetteville Street brings connectors of all different places where First Night takes place," Downtown Raleigh Alliance President Nancy Hormann said.

This plaza where the old convention center used to stand has been the place where the acorn has dropped at midnight for most First Night celebrations. Now that the plaza has been removed to make way for construction of the new convention center, the acorn drop will be moved north one block into the middle of the intersection of Fayetteville and Davie streets.

This year's theme is a celebration of the '70s, '80s, '90s and today. Each block of Fayetteville Street will be turned into a different era, and events will spread onto the side streets.

Christ Hardwick of Raleigh, who holds the world record for solving the Rubik's cube, will be in the 1980s section, for example, showing off his skill on the multi-colored puzzle. Meanwhile, festival attendees can dance the macarena on the steps of the Wake County Courthouse.

"That's what First Night is about -- to program non traditional performance spaces," said Terri Dollar, program director for Artsplosure, which organizes the annual event. "I think it's great to go into a space where you normally bank and here a Latin band. People like that kind of unexpected surprise."

A big party in the center of downtown will recall bygone times, when Fayetteville Street used to be a gathering place, Dollar said.

"People look for that -- park your car and be able to walk to everything -- sort of that amusement park mentality," she said. "We hope families will start a new tradition and say we are going back to Fayetteville Street, we are going to First Night."
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  • kgailes Dec 27, 2006

    Thank you so much for your coverage of First Night Raleigh. We are very excited about its return to Fayetteville Street. What a great opportunity for people who want to spend quality, alcohol-free time with their families doing something more interesting and less ordinary than spending another evening on the couch watching Dick Clark.

  • fefeknows Dec 27, 2006

    I attended 1st Night Raleigh two years ago. People were wandering around wondering what they were supposed to be doing.
    It was so boring I was home and in bed by 11 p.m. I hope the event will improve with the opening of Fayetteville Street. Best of luck to the planning committee and whoever decides to attend.

  • fefeknows Dec 27, 2006

    I attended 1st Night Raleigh two years ago. People were wandering around wondering what they were supposed to be doing.
    It was so boring I was home and in bed by 11 p.m. I hope the event will improve with the opening of Fayetteville Street. Best of luck to the planning committee and whoever decides to attend.

  • readyrider2000 Dec 27, 2006

    Good luck with 1st night, I would rather be just about anywhere other than Fayetteville Street. I have been there and done that. I would rather watch Dick Clark at home (is he still alive?)

  • readyrider2000 Dec 27, 2006

    Good luck with 1st night, I would rather be just about anywhere other than Fayetteville Street. I have been there and done that. I would rather watch Dick Clark at home (is he still alive?)

  • builder276 Dec 26, 2006

    What a lame event