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Giant Ferris Wheel To Return For Big New Year’s Eve In Raleigh

Photo: Telegram.

By Artsplosure, Reprinted By The Raleigh Telegram

RALEIGH – First Night Raleigh, an annual New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Raleigh, will bring circus-inspired activities to the streets of downtown Raleigh on December 31st for an all-day New Year’s celebration.  Around 80,000 people attended the event last year in the heart of the city.

Back by popular demand from last year’s event is the Fantastical First Night Ferris Wheel offering picturesque views of downtown Raleigh from 90-feet in the air. First Night guests will also have a chance to see how the acorn feels in a new free-fall ride, the Jumbo Drop, which will take riders straight up, high above Fayetteville Street, and then drop them back to street level.

First Night Raleigh will cover a 24-block area of downtown Raleigh and encompass more than 35 venues. The festivities will kick off at 2:00 p.m. with an expanded Children’s Celebration at the NC Museums of History and Natural Sciences.  A new area entitled Tots Under the Big Top will be located on the fourth floor of the new Nature Research Center and will provide continuous crafts, interactive music and performances for the smallest revelers.

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, this year’s celebration will feature fashion shows, interactive art installations, festival games and live music from well-known performers. The evening will conclude with Durham-based band Delta Rae performing on the main stage on City Plaza followed by the famous Raleigh Acorn drop and fireworks at midnight.

“We are so excited to see how First Night has grown over time. Last year we had 80,000 people come downtown to participate in the celebration and we anticipate this year to be even bigger,” said Michael Lowder, executive director for Artsplosure. “We have expanded to more venues and added more performances so there will be something for everyone to enjoy. We invite the Triangle community to come out and enjoy the celebration!”

First Night Raleigh is organized by Artsplosure, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to produce high quality annual festivals that celebrate excellence in the performing and visual arts.

The First Night Raleigh 2013 admission button is an “All Day Pass” to every venue and activity. Admission passes are on sale for $9 at nearly 100 retail locations across the Triangle, including area Harris Teeter stores, Rite Aid Pharmacy locations, and several local shops and restaurants or online at Etix.com.

Children five and under are admitted for free when accompanied by a pass-wearing adult.  “All Day Pass” wristbands will be available on site for $12 for adults and $10 for children 6-12.

First Night Raleigh relies on more than 300 volunteers who fill roles ranging from managing venues to checking admission passes (at each site), assisting children’s activity and surveying the audience. By volunteering for two and a half to three hours, volunteers will receive a free volunteer admission pass to enjoy the festivities.

Interested volunteers can learn more and register online at www.firstnightraleigh.com.  Job descriptions and an online registration form can be accessed by clicking the “Volunteer Click Here” button at the top left of the home page. For questions about volunteering, please email volunteer@artsplosure.org.  ::

Article Posted: Tuesday, December 18th, 2012.

RELATED ARTICLE: See photos from last year’s celebration.