WRAL First Night Raleigh Debuts This New Year’s Eve

Artsplosure announces expanded partnership with WRAL for its annual New Year’s Eve celebration

First Night Raleigh 2017Kacy Hunt, President of the Artsplosure Board of Directors, recently announced that First Night Raleigh’s celebratory New Year’s Eve festivities will return to downtown Raleigh as WRAL First Night Raleigh.

“WRAL First Night Raleigh signifies our expanded partnership with a dynamic media institution and esteemed corporate leader,” said Hunt.  “We are very excited to host North Carolina’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration alongside WRAL, as they have been a vital supporter since the New Year’s Eve festival’s inception in 1990.  Like many other community-building organizations with a spark of an idea, WRAL was our first call when Artsplosure began considering launching First Night all those decades ago.   With First Night’s 30th anniversary coming up in a few more years, WRAL’s expanded commitment will bring an even more festive and meaningful experience for our audience.”

Executive Director Michael Lowder noted that the WRAL and First Night Raleigh brands are complementary:  “Both First Night Raleigh and WRAL are committed to showcasing and celebrating the positive and uplifting aspects and attributes of our dynamic city and the Triangle region.  We’re thrilled to be working with such a talented and professional staff to bring incredible artistic experiences to our event!”

With on-air personalities on site, WRAL-TV has broadcast First Night Raleigh for many years.

In addition to its long-standing commitment to First Night Raleigh and its sister festival Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival, WRAL was the Presenting Sponsor of Artsplosure’s Millennium Celebration entitled r2K in 1999.

“WRAL-TV is thrilled to make our already strong partnership even stronger helping to usher in the New Year.  As the Hometown Station, this is a natural fit for us in downtown Raleigh. We’ve had a terrific relationship with Artsplosure’s New Year’s Eve events for nearly 30 years.  We look forward to many more years ahead working with the highly creative and talented people from Artsplosure. As a family owned Company, this is a perfect fit for such an enjoyable family oriented event,” said Steven D. Hammel, Vice-President and General Manager of WRAL-TV & FOX 50.

The 2018 edition of WRAL First Night Raleigh will take place on Monday, December 31, in downtown Raleigh.  Centered along Fayetteville Street and the Bicentennial Plaza, the festival will feature a multitude of arts and enrichment programs, including an appearance by the beloved Raleigh Acorn at the early countdown at 7:00 p.m. and Countdown to Midnight.  Over 50,000 people attend some or all of the day-long celebration of art and community.

About Artsplosure:
Artsplosure is an independent nonprofit organization that presents arts festivals in Raleigh, including its namesake spring festival since 1980 and First Night Raleigh since 1991.  Its mission is to produce quality events that make the works of the most imaginative and celebrated artists accessible to the public, all in an effort to enrich our community and inspire greater love for the visual and performing arts.  Artsplosure is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on the recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission and is also supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  For more information visit www.artsplosure.org.

Thanks to WRAL-TV for this capcom story & photo.

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