First Night Raleigh Celebration Offers French Twist on New Year
Ride on a 90-foot "La Grade Roue de Raleigh" ferris wheel, watch live performances and make festive crafts at the French-inspired 21st Annual First Night Raleigh Celebration Dec. 31 in downtown Raleigh. The event kicks off at 2 p.m. with a Children's Celebration in Bicentennial Plaza, located between the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Kids can "make a small sailboat and sail it in our own 'Jardin des Tuleries,'" says Terri Dollar, program director for Artsplosure, First Night Raleigh and Arts Alive Raleigh. There will also be opportunities for children to create a masterpiece painting and frame it, make miniature Eiffel Towers and write on the Bonne Annee Graffiti Wall.
"We also have an installation by Massachusetts artist Pam Golden, who has created an Owl Tree (L'Arbre de Hibou) where kids and families can make a wish on a feather and flap the owl's wings to send their hopes for the New Year into the universe," Dollar says.
Children's performances include Circus Performers, Jammin Baby Interactive Music, pianist Nicholas Allgeier and storyteller Judith Black. A French Film festival in the Science Museum Auditorium will feature French cartoons and the classic Madeline.
First Night Raleigh 2011's evening activities begin at 7 p.m. with the People's Procession and early countdown, which will include a variety of live performances in more than two dozen venues throughout downtown Raleigh. The evening concludes with the countdown to midnight, descent of the Raleigh Acorn and fireworks.
Admission buttons went on sale as of Dec. 1 for $9 and provide access to all First Night activities. For more information and to view a complete list of artists and performers, visit www.firstnightraleigh.com.