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The Countdown To First Night Raleigh Has Begun

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RALEIGH — The countdown is underway to the start of the New Year. In Raleigh, that means it is time to drop the acorn and say hello to 2001 with the alcohol-free, family-friendlyFirst Night Raleighcelebration.

First Night Raleigh has been around for ten years, and each year, the party keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year, organizers expect more than 50,000 partiers to pack downtown Raleigh.

"It's all about community. It's all about participation, and it's all about celebrating the arts," says First Night organizer Terri Dollar.

The weekend bash will feature 200 different performing artists. The fun starts 5:30 p.m. Saturday with a family celebration atExploris. The people's procession starts at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

"Everybody lines up on the Capitol grounds, and we proceed to the Civic Center Plaza where the countdown takes place," she says. "Come out and celebrate your city. Celebrate the arts and celebrate New Year's Eve in a great family way."

If you are not a night owl, do not worry. The giant acorn does not just drop at midnight. It will make an early appearance at 8 p.m. for the early birds.

You can pick up your first night admission button at any Harris Teeter Store or any of the museums downtown. The buttons are $5 for kids and $8 for adults. However, if you wait until Saturday, the price will go up.

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Julia Lewis, Reporter
David Renner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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