Acorn Drop — New Years, 2016

The New Year’s Eve celebration at downtown Raleigh started in 1992. At the first celebration, only about 20,000 people showed up, now, almost 75,000 people come to ring in the new year. (Photo courtesy of Grace Newton)

People throughout the United States celebrate New Year’s differently, specific to Raleigh is the acorn drop. Between 50,000 and 75,000 people travel to downtown Raleigh to welcome the New Year and see the acorn drop countdown.

Ashley McCauley, sophomore, went for the first time this year. “At first when we got there, we walked around and got something to eat at the food trucks. There was also some live music on the streets and an outdoor skating rink. After that, we all packed in to watch the acorn drop,” said McCauley.

Ashlyn Walton, sophomore, was most excited to see the downtown area decorated and hang out with her friends. “About 30 minutes before the acorn drop, we all were packed in, waiting for the acorn to drop,” said Walton. “After the acorn dropped, there were fireworks and lots of screams.”

Throughout the day, there were a variety events, from live music to a parade. A ferris wheel took people above the festivities, and a pirate ship ride soared above the midway. If participants disliked and refrained from amusement rides, they could write their new year’s resolutions on a wall reading “This Year I Will…” or catch a ride on a horse drawn sleigh.

There are several traditions around the acorn. When it drops, you are supposed to make a wish and rubbing the acorn will bring you luck in the new year.

Both McCauley and Walton agree that the acorn drop was an unforgettable experience, and they can’t wait until next year to ring in the new year.


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