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Raleigh Readies For First Night Festivities

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The acorn comes down and exposure to downtown Raleigh goes up. With nice weather and more attractions, First Night Raleigh 2006 could top last year's attendance at 45,000 people.

"We have some more venues: more of Square Park is a venue this year, Exploris, the Long View Center," said Artsplosure representative Crista Misenheimer>'We're also using more of the Progress Energy Center."

Event planners have added more portable restrooms, and they are making it easier to get around.

"We've added a shuttle bus from the north part of the event to the south to alleviate some of the traffic," said Misenheimer.

You can catch a ride on shuttle buses along Wilmington Street at the intersection of Edenton and South streets. The bus will run between activities at the Progress Energy Center and History Museum. An admission button is required to ride.

You can print out a map online, or there are poster maps located at several places throughout downtown. If all else fails, just follow the crowds.

"Throughout downtown we have various acts, including Trans-Actors Comedy Lab, Adrian Young, Little Sadie, Bob Margolin - a little bit of everything," said Misenheimer.

Music, food, and a giant acorn - it's a tradition 15 years in the making and still going strong. First Night events start at 10 a.m. Saturday. The acorn drops at 7 p.m., and again at midnight. It'll take place in front of the Progress Energy Center. You can catch it all in WRAL's extended 11 p.m. newscast.


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