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Our New Year’s Eve celebration has always been a community affair, and it simply wouldn’t be possible without members of our community coming together to make it happen. Completing each piece of this festival involves calling on so many of our long time friends, and getting the legendary Raleigh Acorn ready for its big drop is no exception!

A permanent piece in the City of Raleigh’s art collection, the acorn itself was designed by sculptor David Benson and has been the iconic symbol of WRAL First Night Raleigh for nearly three decades. In fact, the Raleigh Acorn may be the biggest nut in the world! Each year the acorn leaves its post on the lawn of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and heads to Benson’s studio for a polish so that it can sparkle as it descends on Fayetteville Street to ring in the new year with Raleigh’s revelers.

Made of steel and pieces of copper from the state Capitol dome, our acorn weighs in at 1,250 pounds, so moving this centerpiece is no small task! That’s why for 28 years we’ve called on our friends at Southern Crane to make it happen. Their team lowers the acorn into the new year for us every year, and makes sure that it safely arrives for a polish beforehand.

As we said, New Year’s Eve in Raleigh is a community celebration, and it’s the people in our community that not only ring in the new year with us in city center, but also serve as the stewards of our biggest moments, with the Southern Crane that lowers our iconic acorn being no exception. There’s no place like Raleigh, and there is no party like WRAL First Night Raleigh because of the people that call this city home.

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