Acorn drops; 2010 begins
Posted December 31, 2009 7:53 a.m. EST
Updated January 1, 2010 11:25 a.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Large crowds braved foggy, drizzly Fayetteville Street for the 19th annual First Night Raleigh celebration on Thursday evening.
In the newly opened City Plaza, a 1,200-pound steel and copper acorn dropped twice – at 7 p.m. for the children's celebration and at midnight.
The acorn used to be dropped several blocks away on Fayetteville Street, but has since been moved to its new home in the City Plaza.
"It's an exciting thing to have happen in the city of Raleigh. People always look forward to it," organizer Jackie Smith said. "It's you and about 40,000 of your neighbors."
The event began with the People's Procession down Fayetteville Street. The annual march featured colorful puppets and costumes.
A steady rain washed through downtown around 7:30 p.m. sending some revelers to seek shelter in nearby restaurants. More than 30 indoor venues hosted events, including comedy, blues, funk and opera performances.
The weather continued to be cool, with temperatures in the mid-40s by midnight. Fog also began to roll in.