Spotlight: Happy New Year!


courtesy of Artsplosure

If you plan to venture out for New Year’s Eve, a variety of events going on throughout town will get your 2017 off to a stylish start. The N.C. Symphony’s annual New Year’s in Vienna concert begins at 8 p.m., when the N.C. Jazz Repertory Orchestra joins forces with the symphony to perform a set of Viennese-waltz-inspired numbers. If dressy shindigs are your thing, two Raleigh standard-bearers are throwing big bashes: The Angus Barn hosts a New Year’s Eve social and dinner in the wine cellar at 9 p.m., where a five-course meal includes wine pairings; while the Umstead Hotel and Spa serves cocktails and champagne to complement hors d’oeuvres, small plates, and a dessert buffet, along with live music, in the ballroom at 9:30 p.m.

For less formal merriment, First Night Raleigh takes over downtown with performances, activities, and ultimately the storied acorn drop at midnight – which will take place not in Moore Square, but at the acorn’s new location on South Salisbury Street in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Keep your eye out for a few other unique offerings:

Play a round of visionary miniature golf during art putt in Market Hall at City Market from 2 – 9 p.m. Each of the course’s nine holes are created by local artists.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention brings handmade and larger-than-life puppets and masks to Edenton Street at 3:30 and 6 p.m.

Check out the interactive art installation on the 200 block of Fayetteville Street, a giant rendition of the retro Lite-Brite light-box-and-plastic toys. On display from 5 – 11 p.m.

Escape the crowds for an Andy Griffith movie marathon in the auditorium of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, where No Time for Sergents will play from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and A Face in the Crowd will play from 8 – 10 p.m.

The African American Dance Ensemble, based in Durham, performs energetic, soulful, and traditional dances at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church.

Uplifting gospel music sets are a change of pace at First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., 8:15 p.m., and 9 p.m.

There’s also a family-friendly early countdown and concert at 7 p.m. in City Plaza.

Symphony tickets are $50 – $85 and available at; Angus Barn tickets are $130 and available at; Umstead Hotel and Spa tickets are $200 and available at; First Night Raleigh is free and a full schedule is available at