First Night Raleigh preparations underway

December 28, 2011 7:21:32 PM PST
The anticipation is building for Raleigh's First Night celebration, which is now in its 21st year. This year, the centerpiece of the celebration was in need of some extra attention.

All of Fayetteville Street will be shut down for the event on New Year's Eve and across Raleigh people are preparing for the annual celebration.

David Benson's locally famous acorn sculpture has taken root in Raleigh for more than two decades. Now, once again, he's cleaning and polishing it for its annual presentation to the Capital City.

"I do this because I really enjoy it," said Benson. "I made it. It's my sculpture. It's my baby. It's a seed for new beginnings. So every year I get to start the year off with something that I made."

The acorn also needed repairing. It was dented by falling tree limbs during the April tornadoes.

The acorn will take center stage in the celebration and will be joined by tens of thousands of people. It's a winter holiday celebration as traditional as the City Plaza ice rink.

"Oh, I think it's wonderful," said Cary resident Kristen Lloyd. "It's such a great way for Raleigh and all of the surrounding cities to come together and celebrate."

"I think it would be awesome for people to come in and experience the downtown area and see what we've got going on," said Raleigh resident Jessica Horton.

This year's event will have a French theme.

Click here for more on buying tickets and passes to the event.

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