RALEIGH, N.C. — Thousands of people are expected to be in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve to watch the giant acorn drop from the sky.
“First Night Raleigh,” as the celebration is called, joins other cities worldwide in a “family-oriented, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts,” according to its Web site. It’s presented by Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival, Inc., a local nonprofit organization
Viewers can watch it live on WRAL’s extended edition of the 11 p.m. news Monday or on WRAL.com.
The event takes almost a year of planning to coordinate, and one of the key organizers is Program Director Terri Dollar. Monday will mark her 10th “First Night.”
“I’ve always said I wanted to make sure I did something meaningful, and this is, it’s very meaningful. It truly is,” Dollar said.
First Night Raleigh began 17 years ago with about 20,000 spectators. Since then, attendance has more than doubled.
“Raleigh is one of the longest running, most successful First Night’s,” Dollar said.
This year, more than 100 performances are scheduled at 25 different venues, both indoors and out.
The People's Procession starts at 6 p.m., and the celebration runs all the way until the acorn drops at midnight.
Admission buttons can be purchased online
, at local retail outlets
and at the event. Advance tickets are $9. Tickets purchased on site cost $12 for adults and $10 for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.