Preparations underway downtown to bring in the New Year at First Night Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands of people are expected to embark on Fayetteville Street Friday night for Raleigh's First Night celebrations for New Year's Eve. This year you will need to follow strict COVID-19 protocols.

"To have a First Night Raleigh pass you will need to be able to show proof of a negative test from the last 48 hours or proof of vaccination," said First Night organizer Cameron Laws.

The pass is your ticket into everything they have to offer during Friday's festivities.

"You can go on the Ferris wheel, our 6,000-square-foot. roller rink. We have an amazing Emerson's light projection in PNC Plaza," said Laws.

You will also need the ticket to get into City Plaza where you'll find the stage and Acorn drop.

Laws said they want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time.

"Like we have put a lot of different protocols in place so that this will be a safe an area as it's ever been and I would just suggest keeping (open) because that is where our lineup is posted and all of these other regulations," said Laws

For some, the New Year's holiday is their biggest celebration of the year and even with the protocols in place, Raleigh resident Margarita Toler is sitting out.

"It would have been fun but kind of feels dangerous right now because a lot of our friends are sick with COVID," said Toler.

Toler was out walking her dog early Friday to avoid the crowds. She wants to do what is best for herself and her friends.

"If you were doing everything you do to protect yourself by then, yeah you can have fun, life goes on and you can't just put everything on hold with COVID, but we have some health at risk that we're trying to avoid," said Toler.
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