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Neon roller skating rink among new WRAL First Night Raleigh attractions

December 22, 2018
WRAL First Night Raleigh 2019

A pop-up roller skating rink and a new home for the acorn drop are among the new features at WRAL First Night Raleigh.

The New Year’s Eve celebration will celebrate its 28th year with a host of family-friendly attractions and fun.

The Pop-Up Glow Roller Skating Rink will reside in City Plaza from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. The 4,800-square-foot rink will also include a soundtrack of classic disco music. With the rink in City Plaza, the acorn drop will be moved up the street closer to the corner of East Davie and Fayetteville streets.

The rink isn’t the only new feature this year. The First Night Raleigh Globe, which is located at Morgan and Fayetteville streets, has also gotten a makeover. It was designed and built by acclaimed sculptor Heath Satow more than 22 years ago. In preparation for this year’s event, noted neon artist Nate Sheaffer and his Glas Studio team refurbished the globe and added neon lights. Also new, the globe will spin for the first time at First Night.

The ferris wheel, pop-up wedding chapel, Jolly Raleigh Singing Trolley, sleigh rides, Art Pianos and “Next Year I Will” walls are also back this year.

See a map and schedule of events

WRAL First Night Raleigh kicks off at 2 p.m. with performances and activities in Bicentennial Plaza and inside the North Carolina Museums of History and Natural Sciences. Children can celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world, do crafts and enjoy performances by the Dynamo Dogs stunt show.

At 6 p.m., the People’s Procession kicks off at Martin Street. This parade is lead by the Paperhand Puppet Intervention and will include The Helping Hand Mission Band and NCSU Pipes and Drums. People are welcome to join the parade as it heads up Fayetteville Street to the acorn.

The early acorn drop is at 7 p.m. and will include fireworks.

The live music on the main stage gets going around 9 p.m. Boulevards will be headlining the stage, starting at 10:30 p.m. and playing until midnight.

Ira David Wood III and Ira David Wood IV will be on stage to help count down to midnight. After the acorn drops at midnight, there will be another fireworks display.

WRAL’s Ken Smith, Kathryn Brown and Bryan Mims will be on site helping ring in the new year. You can catch their coverage beginning at 10 p.m. on Fox 50 and 11 p.m. on WRAL-TV on Dec. 31 with lots of WRAL First Night fun.

Passes are on sale now for WRAL First Night Raleigh. Passes are $11 in advance and can be purchased online and at Harris Teeter and CVS locations. On Dec. 31, on-site sales will be $15 for adults and $12 for children. Children 5 years old and younger are admitted to First Night free when joined by a pass-wearing adult.

There is also a First Night Raleigh app to help you keep track of all of the activities happening that night. It is available for Apple and Android.

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