Raleigh, N.C. — The countdown is (almost) on.
On Saturday night, like the last night of every year, the City of Oaks rang in the new year with its Acorn Drop. But the drop isn’t the only part of Raleigh’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The city’s First Night Raleigh festival began at 2 p.m. and hosted nearly 100 performances, workshops and events to help usher in 2017.
Attendees could play mini golf in the afternoon before checking out one of the many musical and visual performances scattered around more than 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh. Birds of Avalon, a band that calls Raleigh home, headlined the main stage leading up to the midnight countdown.
The DIY Celebration got the party off to a good start, including performances from Christy’s Dance Explosion from Garner. The event used to be called the Children’s Celebration, but this year it was all about handmade arts and crafts getting children and adults to be as creative as possible.
Parents said it’s a great way to ring in the new year with their children.
“Oh, it’s everything. We want to do things together; it shouldn’t be isolates,” said Tracey Durham. ‘we really want to enjoy and bring in the new year together.”
“This is a great activity for kids of all ages just to come out, here some good music, see some good dancing, smell some good food, make some good crafts and just enjoy bringing in the new year the right way,” said Lawrence Roberts.
The Museum of History and the Museum of Natural Sciences also provided a backdrop for everyone to show their creative side and many of the creations will be part of the annual People’s Procession.
The Fantastical First Night Ferris Wheel returned to Fayetteville Street and was be joined by the debut of “The Sea Ray”, a giant, swinging pirate ship that sailed the seas of Fayetteville Street.
First Night filled with local entertainment
Durham singer Skylar Gudasz recently released her first album, Oleander, and returned to the Triangle to perform at the First Night festivities
Ira David Wood once again returned to host the First Night celebrations. He said he has been to every celebration since the event’s inception.
Revelers commemorate the moment and look forward to 2017
Crowds who packed downtown Raleigh to celebrate the end of 2016 marked the moment with selfies.
New Year’s resolutions at the First Night celebration in downtown Raleigh ranged from losing a few pounds to becoming a better person.
A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.