New Year's Eve Events in Raleigh, North Carolina

by Justin Melick
Put on your party hat to celebrate New Year's Eve in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Put on your party hat to celebrate New Year's Eve in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Raleigh, North Carolina, likes to ring in the New Year in a big way. Throughout the city, a variety of New Year's Eve events traditionally take place, including parades, parties, live shows, fireworks and more. Celebrate with someone special, friends or the kids; there's plenty to do for both adults and children.

First Night Raleigh

First Night is an annual celebration in downtown Raleigh, usually kicking off at 2 p.m. on New Year's Eve with a children's celebration. A "People's Procession" follows down Fayetteville Street. An early countdown takes place at 7 p.m., followed by live performances by musicians, comedians, dance groups and more in at least a dozen venues along Fayetteville Street and in the Museum District. A tram operates between all the venues, which host festivities until after midnight. As the clock strikes midnight, an acorn is dropped in a ceremony unique to Raleigh; fireworks follow.

North Carolina Symphony

The North Carolina Symphony long has rung in the New Year with a special concert. The concert typically features Viennese waltzes, Sondheim tunes, French songs and Cole Porter favorites. The New Year's concert takes place in the evening at Meymandi Concert Hall on South Street.


The North Raleigh Hilton ( holds an annual New Year's Eve Extravaganza, featuring dinner at the upscale hotel restaurant as well as drinks and live music. There are before and after dinner parties in the lobby, two ballrooms and multiple hotel rooms. The extravaganza is geared toward young people who want to mix, mingle and party into the new year. The Umstead Hotel and Spa (, just outside of Raleigh in Cary, partners with Herons Restaurant to offer an eight-course New Year's Eve dinner that includes free-flowing champagne at midnight. The Raleigh Marriott City Center also holds a New Year's Eve celebration.

Dinner/Club Parties

Head to Poole's Diner (, Red Room Tapas Lounge ( and Zely & Ritz ( for New Year's Eve dinners and drinks in a festive atmosphere.

About the Author

Justin Melick began writing in 2002 for the "Union Sentinel." His work has also appeared in the "Dawson Community News," the "Mountain Chronicle," on, and in the "Gainesville Times" and the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution." Melick authored the book "American Moments: American Stories in Poetry and Prose." He has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Gainesville State College.

Photo Credits

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