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First Night Raleigh Heats Up 2018

December’s frigid weather could not stop the tens of thousands of First Night Raleigh attendees. The City of Oaks said good-bye to 2017 as only Raleigh’s First Night attendees could. The drop of the acorn brought in the New Year and wrapped up the 27th annual First Night Raleigh event.

Attendees this year had the opportunity to experience over 100 performances as diverse as the attendees. Artsplosure made sure there was something for everyone at First Night Raleigh. Whether you are one or one hundred and one, there was something here for you.

First Night Raleigh was the place to be starting off early in the day with fun-filled activities for those young attendees. What better way to start the day than with the toddler play area and story time? Other young attendees attended the DIY Party Crown or participated in the Art Put Miniature golf or even played the Art Piano, just to name a few. Young attendees did not miss out on the celebration as they too enjoyed an early countdown at 7:00 pm on the main stage at City Plaza.

Others both young and old enjoyed First Night Raleigh by just sitting back and enjoying the Ferris Wheel or a ride on the Gold Leaf Sleigh or maybe singing on the Jolly Raleigh Singing Trolley.  While others also wanted to enjoy the music of the sounds of Acappella Venue featuring the High Seas, Cane Mill Road, Holly Ghost Tent Revival, Marurice Launcher Praise Band, Peter Ingram, BeeBop Blues, Shana Tucker ChamberSoul with Beverly Botsford and Gregg Gelb and the Triangle youth Jazz Orchestra, to name a few. Additionally others were able to attend open Mic Night Brian Jones at the new Imurj space to listen to 12 of Raleigh’s finest emerging artists.

Did all of the great musical performances inspire you to do a little ballroom dancing or did you go to on demand poetry or were you inspired by the African American Dance Ensemble? What better way to have fun than to laugh. ComedyWorx made us laugh again this year.

First Night Raleigh was magical with all of the music, food, rides, performances and lights from Lite Bright. First Night Raleigh was a great way for attendees to also express their creative side with the Black Light Message Room, to make lanterns or chalkboard pens to participate in the scrap exchange.

Never the less, First Night Raleigh had something for everyone to experience as a first. Who would have known that at the end of 2017, you got to experience your first of something, just like the First Robotics Competition Team 435.

First Night Raleigh had something for everyone whether it’s attending one of the more than three dozen indoor venues to marching in the people procession. First Night Raleigh had it covered with more than the 100 performances within the 21 blocks of downtown Raleigh.

Who could leave without expressing how much fun was had or what 2018 would bring without expressing it by utilizing the New Year Will Chalkboard or the Wish Tree, in addition to many others deciding to take a photo at the photo booth to put it away in the time capsule.


It was with the drop of the acorn symbolizing the end of an event filled with a diverse range of activities that presented something for everyone in the diverse city of Raleigh. 2018 came in with the 27th annual First Night Raleigh, once more being a big success with a day filled with activities for everyone regardless of age. Be sure to be at the 28th Annual First Night Raleigh celebration.

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