Full Lineup & DIY Festival Announced for First Night Raleigh 2017

Birds of Avalon

Artsplosure, the presenter of First Night Raleigh, today announced the festival’s lineup of visual and performing artists and special programs. Taking place in downtown Raleigh on Dec. 31, patrons will experience an unforgettable New Year’s Eve, including musical and visual performances, a daytime DIY Festival and other activities.

Admission for First Night Raleigh 2017 is now on sale at:
• Area Harris Teeter & CVS Pharmacy Stores
• Local store outlets which can be found here

DIY Festival and Workshops

This year’s festivities kick off at 2 p.m. with the brand new DIY Festival at N.C. Museum of History, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and outdoors on the Bicentennial Plaza.

The DIY Festival will feature a multitude of workshops and demonstrations from professional artists, musicians and craftsmen. Adults and children alike can try out something new, from ukulele to weaving and pottery! Art Putt, a miniature golf course and interactive art installation, will return to this year’s First Night Raleigh in the newly-renovated Market Plaza between Fayetteville and Wilmington Streets.

In addition to its December 31st offerings, First Night Raleigh is also hosting an array of DIY December workshops in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve. With purchase of a First Night Raleigh $10 All Day Pass wristband, workshop attendees can learn a new skill for the New Year! Workshops include crafting an ornament at downtown retailer Ramble Supply Co from 6-8pm on December 6th, helping create a film-photography hand-tinted collage of Raleigh with photographer Katy Walls from 6-9pm on December 8th or even learn metal stamping at local retailer Edge of Urge from 2-4pm on December 10th.

Visual and Musical Performances and Other Activities

After an afternoon of miniature golf and crafting, attendees can walk in the annual People’s Procession at 6 p.m., which culminates with the early countdown at 7 p.m. at City Plaza. Attendees can also enjoy performances at the main stage starting at 5 p.m. Later into the night, the streets of Raleigh come alive with performances taking place in more than 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh favorite Birds of Avalon will headline this year’s main stage leading up to the countdown to 2017. Joining them will be local band Jack the Radio, starting at 9:30 p.m. Ira David Wood III and his son, Ira David Wood IV, return as the countdown master of ceremonies, with the famous acorn dropping at midnight while fireworks are shot off into the night sky.

Other artists scheduled to appear include: Skylar Gudasz, ShadowGrass, Ron Gallo, Josh Dumbleton, XOXOK, Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, African American Dance Ensemble, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, North Carolina Opera singers, Compton & Newberry, Comedy Worx, Transactors Improv Company, SEED Art Share, and many more!

The Fantastical First Night Ferris Wheel returns to Fayetteville Street and will be joined by the debut of “The Sea Ray”, a giant, swinging pirate ship that will sail the seas of Fayetteville Street. Both amusements will open to the public at 2 p.m. on the afternoon of Dec. 31.

The full lineup can be found by downloading the First Night app on your iPhone or Android or by visiting FirstNightRaleigh.com, with admission on sale now for $10** when purchased in advance (**plus local and state sales tax). On December 31, on-site sales will be $14* for adults and $11* for children (*including local and state sales tax).


First Night Raleigh’s DIY December: Workshops All Month Long!

katy walls tinted photo

First Night Raleigh’s FREE DIY December Workshops will be hosted throughout December leading up to the New Year’s Eve daytime DIY Festival!

Workshops are free, but you can purchase a First Night Raleigh All Day Pass at each event or online at Etix.com!
December 2nd, 5-8pm: Nail Art Workshop with Nail Yeah!
Nail Yeah! Studio
16 Glenwood Avenue

Guests can see the latest in Avant-Garde and everyday nail art trends. Nail Yeah! founder Crystal Clark will teach how to apply an on-trend glitter fade look that will have you sparkling into the New Year!
December 6th, 6-8pm: Embroidered Ornament Making Workshop
Ramble Supply Co.
123 East Martin Street

Embroidery techniques with Jessie from Ramble Supply Co. Learn embroidery skills and bring home a festive holiday ornament for your tree.
December 8th, 6-9pm: Mini Mural Workshop – Hand-Tinted Photo Collage Mural Photographer Katy Walls
London Bridge Pub
110 East Hargett Street

Come have a beverage and help us hand-tint film photographs of the downtown Raleigh skyline and assemble them into a mini-mural which will be displayed at First Night Raleigh’s Art Putt miniature golf course and art installation!


December 13th, 2-4pm: Metal Stamping Workshop

Edge of Urge
215 East Franklin Street

Join Edge of Urge and First Night Raleigh for an afternoon of hand-stamped DIY goodness! Drop into to EOU on Saturday December 10th from 2:00-4:00pm with your own power phrase, mini mantra or little daily reminder and carry joy with you throughout the holiday season on a custom brass cuff!


December 18th, 12-7pm: Ornament Decorating with Kids
Blake St. Studios, City Market
215 Wolfe St.

DIY Ornament Decorating for the Kid in All of Us.

DIY December calendar

First Night Raleigh 2017 Spotify Playlist


Check out our First Night Raleigh 2017 Spotify playlist today to hear the diverse array of musical performers that you can see at North Carolina’s biggest New Year’s Eve bash in downtown Raleigh!


Lucy and David Fountain Announced as Honorary Chairs of First Night Raleigh 2017

first night raleigh

Caroline Russell, President of the Artsplosure Board of Directors, today announced that David and Lucy Fountain are the honorary chairs for Artsplosure’s 26th presentation of First Night Raleigh. The annual New Year’s Eve arts festival will take place on Saturday, Dec. in a 20+ block area of downtown Raleigh.

The Fountains have a long history of support and involvement with some of the state’s leading nonprofit causes. She expressed the Board’s appreciation that they have chosen to lend their leadership to Artsplosure’s First Night Raleigh.

Married the same year as the initial First Night Raleigh celebration, David and Lucy Fountain are excited to serve as the honorary co-chairs of First Night Raleigh 2017. David is Duke Energy’s North Carolina President. He joined the Carolina Power & Light (CP&L) Legal Department in 2000 and previously served as the vice president of Progress Energy’s legal department, and as senior vice president of Duke Energy’s office of general counsel in Raleigh. David currently chairs the Leadership North Carolina board and is also active on the boards of the North Carolina Chamber, the YMCA of the Triangle, the Alexander Family YMCA and the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen. In addition, he enjoyed his tenure as the chair of the Marbles Kids Museum board. Lucy is the immediate past President of the Saint Mary’s School Parents’ Association. She is also a past vice president of the National Charity League’s Dogwood Chapter and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Raleigh. David and Lucy received their undergraduate degrees and their law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and are the parents of three daughters.

This year’s First Night Raleigh festivities kick off at 2 p.m. with the new “DIY Fest” at N.C. Museum of History, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and outside on the Bicentennial Plaza. The First Night ferris wheel and pirate ship rides open to the public at 2 p.m. as does Artsplosure’s “Art Putt”, a playable nine-hole miniature golf course created by local artists.

Performances on the outdoor main stage begin at 5:20 p.m., with the people’s procession following shortly after at 6 p.m. Parents and children alike can ring in the New Year with the early countdown at 7 p.m. An array of evening performances also begin at 7 p.m. in multiple indoor and outdoor venues.

The Countdown to Midnight begins at 9:30 p.m. and concludes at midnight with the famous Raleigh acorn drop and fireworks finale.

A complete list of the full lineup can be found at www.FirstNightRaleigh.com, with tickets going on sale online on Dec. 1 and in stores on December 12 for $10* when purchased in advance (*plus local and state sales tax).

First Night Raleigh 2016 Mobile App Now Available


The anticipation of ringing in 2016 is now at the fingertips of guests attending First Night Raleigh 2016, in thanks to an innovative mobile app created exclusively for the Triangle’s favorite New Year’s Eve tradition. For the fourth consecutive year, Fidelity has sponsored the First Night Raleigh mobile app, created by Blue Pane Studio. It can be downloaded for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The First Night Raleigh mobile app is designed to enhance the planning of the festivalgoer, as well as seeing what is “on tap” as the night progresses. The First Night Raleigh 2016 mobile app can be downloaded at:


Download the Apps!
apple store button
google play button


The mobile app will provide a complete list of all performances and activities happening during First Night Raleigh 2016. With an interactive map that will show where events are and easiest routes for access, festivalgoers can plan their own New Year adventure. Other features include:
• Event Planning tool to pre-plan your activities and customize an itinerary, which can be shared with friends and family.
• Rating scale of individual performances
• Social media connections to First Night Raleigh’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope
• Career resolutions and links to learn more about job opportunities at Fidelity

“Fidelity is pleased to extend our partnership with First Night Raleigh 2016 in helping thousands of people navigate the events downtown on December 31,” said Tara Amaral, Senior Vice President of Fidelity Talent Acquisition. “This year we’ve added functionality to the app that will assist folks in planning and capturing their First Night Raleigh experience.”

“Fidelity Investments’ support and expertise have been instrumental in our efforts to integrate technology into every aspect of our programming,” said Michael Lowder, Artsplosure Executive Director. “This year’s edition of the mobile app adds lots of new, innovative tools, which will truly enhance festival goers’ experience.”

The app is now available for free download on iPhones, iPads, iPods and the most popular models of Android phones. The inaugural First Night Raleigh app ranked among the top 200 downloads from the Apple Store.