New Year's Eve
4:59 am
Tue December 31, 2013

The Triangle Boasts New Year's Celebrations For Music Lovers, Families

This is the acorn emblematic of Raleigh, North Carolina which usually sits on a pole in Moore Square but lately is removed, suspended from a crane, and lowered at midnight to mark the new year. It is a festive time ball.
Instead of a "ball", Raleigh drops a giant acorn at its First Night festival each New Year's Eve.
Credit Ke4roh / Wikipedia Creative Commons

New Year's Eve revelers will have plenty of options for live music across the Triangle tonight.

In true out-with-the-old sprit, The Casbah in Durham will host live jazz music. It's the last music show there, before the venue becomes a game room.

The Carolina Symphony begins early in the evening at the Meymandi Concert Hall. For less formal listening, Southern Culture on the Skids will play absurdist Rockabilly tunes at the Southland Ballroom in Raleigh.

The family-friendly arts festival, First Night Raleigh, will have a number of artists from around the world. Program Director Terri Dollar says one of the musical highlights with be the "World of Drumming" performances.

“This is gonna feature all kinds of rhythm from around the world, everything from steel drums to Native American drums, to African drums,” Dollar says. “And so all night long folks can enjoy great rhythm movement, and that, I think that will be very popular with people.”

For a break from the music, First Night Raleigh also promises comedians and an improv group who will perform games and skits based on travel themes suggestions from the audience.

Although there are plenty of places to pop the cork at midnight, several communities are hosting kid-friendly events that still allow for an early bedtime.

Marbles Kids' Museum in Raleigh will ring in 2014 at noon with bubble wrap "fireworks" and a ball drop.

Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill will host a starlit New Year's celebration under the dome.

First Night Raleigh has an afternoon children's celebration, and families can march in the annual People's Procession and climb around in the Paperhand Puppet Intervention's art installation. Dollar says kids can count down to the New Year there, too.

“We do a countdown at 7:00 and we pretend it's midnight,” she says. “We drop the acorn, we do fireworks and everything. And it used to be called the 'kids' drop' but actually there's tons of adults and people without children who just wanna celebrate the New Year and then they go back home and do their party.”

Mount Olive Pickle will drop its three-foot pickle into a tank at 7 p.m., too. Organizers say that's when the clock officially strikes midnight in Greenwich Mean Time.