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Weekend best bets: First Night, New Year's Eve events

Posted December 28, 2016
Updated December 31, 2016

— It's time to ring in 2017, but first we have to say goodbye to 2016. Check out our guide of New Year's Eve events in the Triangle.

Some notable NYE celebrations

First Night - Downtown Raleigh's annual New Year's Eve celebration is Saturday night. Performers this year include Birds of Avalon and Jack the Radio. The First Night Ferris wheel will be back as well as a new swinging pirate ship ride. If you can't make it out there, you can always watch the acorn countdown at home on WRAL.

Isaac Hunter's - Enjoy a great view of the acorn drop, a dessert bar and more at this celebration.

NYE Costume Extravaganza at Ponysaurus - Ring in 2017 at Ponysaurus dressed as your favorite or most hated character from the news this past year. The best costume will win a year's supply of Ponysaurus beer. There will also be a DJ dance party, a ZimZoom Photobooth and a champagne (of beers) toast at midnight.

NYE in Vienna - The North Carolina Symphony will help ring in the new year with melodies from Vienna and big band sounds at Meymandi Concert Hall Saturday night.

Back to the 90s New Year's Eve Party - Ring in 2017 with 1990s tribute bands 120 Minutes and Trainwreck at The Ritz in Raleigh.

Raleigh Beer Garden - A heated tent behind the Raleigh Beer Garden will be the site of this New Year's bash. There will be music from Urban Soil and a DJ, a balloon drop and a light show.

Raleigh Beer Garden

Speakeasy Soiree - Bar Virgile in Durham hosts this black tie gala Saturday night.

Non-NYE events

KwanzaaFest - The African American Dance Ensemble presents this annual event on Sunday at Durham Armory. There will be a children's village, drumming class, face painting, gift bags, games, prizes and much more.

Hurricane Homegrown Series - This series continues Friday night when the Canes take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Porch Light Apothecary will be playing in between periods and the Marketplace will be serving up Carolina-style hot dogs topped with slaw and pulled pork. The featured brewery will be Lynnwood Brewing Concern, so look for some great local selections.

Elon graduate Caity Skalski is an ensemble cast member in Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, which plays DPAC Dec. 30-Jan. 1, 2017.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella - This Tony award-winning Broadway musical is a contemporary take on the classic tale. The show features some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago." See the show at DPAC Friday through Sunday.

Skating - Enjoy the outdoor ice rink at City Plaza. The rink is open 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. all week.

Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band - This funk band plays Southland Ballroom on Friday night with special guests The Broadcast.

Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

NYE Punk Pre-Game - Check out Born Again Heathens, 49/Short and Raw Dog at Volume 11 in Garner on Friday night.

Sherman and The Blazers - This Chapel Hill band reunites for a show at Cat's Cradle.

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  • Jenny Miller Dec 30, 2016
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    We have gone to this every year and it's amazing way to start the new year. Watching the events in Germany and Nice, France I hope the streets are barricaded.