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Exploris Museum Kicks Off First Night Celebration

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RALEIGH — Even though New Year's Eve is not until tonight, the party has begun at theExploris Museum.

Close to 3,000 kids helped kick off the First Night celebrations. For the first time, the event is covering two days.

Emily Kent says not even the weather can spoil this New Year's Eve. She is emceeing the acorn drop and kid's countdown at First Night 2000.

"Basically the kid's countdown was everything the adult countdown is going to be, just four hours earlier," Kent said.

There were food and activities and people like Sons of Steel, a musical group of teenagers.

Emily got her start at the kids' talent audition. It is also the first start of First Night 2000, and it began at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Kids also had hours of fun at the Exploris museum Thursday night enjoying everything from interactive art to comedy.

The real party begins today. Crews have prepared for more than 80,000 expected guests.

From art to concerts to the biggest dance party around, organizers say this will be the party of the century.

"People are looking to the new millennium as make it bigger, make it memorable, make it great, make it the best it can get," said Chancy Kapp, a First Night volunteer. "First Night always has been wonderful."

"It's always been a success in Raleigh, but there's been a sense of 'make it wow, make downtown Raleigh the place to be.'"


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