Jackie Smith
Marketing & Promotions Manager


On Wednesday, December 31 Artsplosure will present the 18th annual First Night Raleigh celebration of art and community in an alcohol-free environment. First Night Raleigh is a New Year's Eve celebration featuring performances in 25 indoor and outdoor venues including the North Carolina Museums of History and Natural Sciences, Raleigh City Museum, Fletcher Opera Theatre, and other venues nearby the State Capitol Building and along Fayetteville Street. First Night offers an eclectic mix of up to 100 emerging and established visual and performing artists in traditional and nontraditional venues that will appeal to diverse audiences.

The festival begins at 2:00pm with the Children's Celebration at the North Carolina museums of History and Natural Sciences and outside on Bicentennial Plaza. The celebration features family-friendly entertainment, make-and-take arts and crafts for children, and more. The People's Procession, a participatory parade, will begin at 6:00pm and make its way down Fayetteville Street towards the Main Stage. An early “Countdown to Midnight” immediately follows, featuring fireworks and entertainment for all ages.

Evening entertainment includes live music, theatre, dance, comedy, and more. Scheduled to appear at this year’s event are The Smithereens, John Brown and the Groove Shop Band, Clair Lynch, Mark Nizer, Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater, Chuck Davis and the African American Dance Ensemble, Christine Lavin, Transactors Improv Company, Lenny Marcus Trio, Southern String Band, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, and more. First Night Raleigh concludes with the Countdown to Midnight and fireworks.

Admission buttons will be available at local Harris Teeter and Rite Aid stores, as well as other local outlets, beginning December 1. Buttons are $9 in advance for children ages 6-12 and adults. Children five and under are admitted free. At the event, buttons are $10 for children ages 6-12 and $12 for adults.

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