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Special Plans Await Kids at First Night

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RALEIGH — New Year's Eve is going to be rockin' this year in Raleigh thanks to the 8th Annual First Night in Raleigh. The celebration is going to be bigger and better than ever, because organizers are going out of their way to make it fun for both young and old alike.

Twelve-year-old Josh Putterman will be one of thousands rocking and rolling with the best of them at this year's celebration.

The alcohol-free New Year's Eve party will feature the same music, arts and crafts as last year. But there are a few changes in store for Josh's generation.

"I'm going to be up there and there's going to be a big stage and that's where all the entertainment takes place," says Josh.

Josh will emcee a special New Year's Eve countdown for children beginning at 8 p.m. Organizers expect 10,000 people to pack the plaza for the event.

Children's activities will also move from the Civic Center to the Museum of History and Natural Sciences starting at 2 p.m.

And of course it takes more than Josh to put on such a performance. Organizers of First Night need about 600 volunteers.

"We're not there yet so we need more," says Esther Hall, a First Night volunteer. "It's fun. It's just great. A lot of groups come and a lot of families volunteer. That way you don't have to worry about going to a party -- you have one built in for New Year's Eve."

And once the countdown is over you may not see the end of Josh. He'll be competing in a children's talent competition taking place all day. That's if he can get over the stage fright.

If you would like to volunteer for First Night you still can. You can do it by logging on towww.artsplosure.org, or by calling 832-8699.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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