On December 31, we bring in the New Year with a bang in Raleigh – or a drop, rather. First Night Raleigh is a New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown. Citizens of the “City of Oaks” watch a giant acorn drop at midnight to commence the next year. It’s a tradition that has gained a following since the ‘90s, and it’s always a fun time.

The ferris wheel on Fayetteville Street was a huge hit at First Night Raleigh.

It’s no Times Square, but Raleigh’s Moore Square was very alive on New Year’s Eve! There are dozens of restaurants in the area, and street vendors came out for the occasion, offering interesting foods like satay and kielbasa. There was a stage with live bands and other performances. And, for the first time, a Ferris wheel was erected in the street! It was lit up in a rainbow of lights.

Moore Square has lots of shops and things to see. During First Night, artists made their way to the square and set up stations for caricatures, paintings, and sketches of people and places. Craft sales were a big part of the celebration, and it’s always nice to take something home to remember the evening.

If you are in the Traingle area next New Year’s Eve, pop over to Raleigh and check out First Night. It’s fun, there’s food, and it’s the only place you’ll ever see an acorn drop! Check it out!