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2008 First Night Raleigh

About First Night Raleigh

In the summer of 1990, Artsplosure’s Board of Directors committed to creating a special community New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown. First Night Raleigh was born, under the direction of Ann Smith, joining other cities worldwide in a joyful, family-oriented, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts. Admission buttons, worn proudly by participants, make First Night Raleigh the most accessible, inexpensive and safe way to celebrate the New Year. Attendance was estimated for First Night Raleigh ‘92 at 15,000-20,000 on December 31, 1991. This amazing public response paved the way for plans to produce a bigger, more spectacular First Night Raleigh in years to come. The event has grown to be the largest New Year’s Eve event held in Eastern North Carolina. Recent First Night celebrations have exceeded all expectations with attendance regularly over 40,000 people. The city’s Millennium Celebration culminated with First Night Raleigh 2000, and attracted 75,000 people from all over the state.

First Night came into existence in Boston in 1976 at the end of the country’s Bicentennial Celebration to bring the neighboring communities of the city together in a joint celebration, while providing the public with an alternative way of ushering in the New Year. Since 1980 the concept has inspired many communities to start their own First Night celebrations in the United States from Cape Cod to Honolulu, plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. All of these cities throughout the world are connected through First Night International, a federation which promotes the First Night concept and provides guidance to over 100 participating First Night cities.

First Night Raleigh 2008 Production Team

Executive Director, Michael Lowder
Program Director, Terri Dollar
Marketing & Promotions Manager, Jackie Smith
Festival Operations Manager, Dylan Morris
Operations Assistant, Rebecca Rolfe
Bookkeeper & Volunteer Coordinator, Glynda Westerbeek
Children’s Celebration Coordinator, Chase Bryan
Technical Supervisors, Kemp English & Jeff Linker
Countdown Calendar Project Coordinator, Maggie Bennett
Signage, The Sign Shop
Honorary Chairs, Smedes & Rosemary York

First Night Raleigh 2007-2008 Board of Directors

Helen White, President
Clymer Cease, Vice President
Barbara Stephens, Secretary
Steve Bryan, Treasurer
Lee Kirby, Immediate Past President
Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen
Ashley Bell
Marion Bolz
Jessica Coscia
Woody Dicus
Chad Janko
Benji Jones
Debra Laughery
Lany McDonald
Crystal Sadler
Carolyn Sloop
Tabitha Spencer
Shan Teel
Pearl Wilson-Smith
Julie Wood
Stephanie Yamashita
Philip Isley, Raleigh City Council Liaison

Artsplosure, The Raleigh Arts Festival
336 Fayetteville Street, Suite 405
Raleigh, NC 27601
tel: 919-832-8699
fax: 919-832-0890