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Charles Meeker & Anne McLaurin named Honorary Chairs of First Night Raleigh 2013

Raleigh, NC – Tom Hester, president of the Artsplosure Board of Directors, announced today that former Mayor Charles Meeker and Dr. Anne McLaurin will serve as the Honorary Chairs of First Night Raleigh 2013.  The 22nd annual New Year’s Eve arts festival will take place on Monday, December 31, 2012, in venues spanning 24 blocks of downtown Raleigh.

Hester expressed the Artsplosure Board’s appreciation for the work that Meeker and McLaurin have done to champion Raleigh’s vibrant and growing arts community and the development of a revitalized city center.  In making the announcement, Hester noted that Artsplosure is honored that they have chosen to lend their leadership to this year’s festival.

Charles Meeker has served the Raleigh community in various capacities for nearly four decades,most recently as the city’s mayor from 2001 to 2011.  Prior to his five terms at the city’s helm, Meeker served two different times as a member of the Raleigh City Council in the 1980s and 90s, as a member of the Raleigh Parks and Greenway Commission, and as President of the Boylan Heights Association.  He is a Partner with the law firm of Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein.  Dr. Anne McLaurin, is a former member of the Wake County Board of Education and a physician with Alliance Healthcare.  Together, the couple has two adult children.

First Night Raleigh 2013 begins at 2:00 PM on New Year’s Eve with the Children’s Celebration at the North Carolina Museums of History and Natural Sciences, in the new Nature Research Center and on Bicentennial Plaza.  The People’s Procession at 6:00 and Early Countdown with fireworks at 7:00 will kick off the evening entertainment.  Performances and activities featuring music, dance, comedy, and other art forms will take place in over three-dozen venues throughout downtown Raleigh.  First Night Raleigh concludes with the Countdown to Midnight, the descent of the Raleigh Acorn, and fireworks at Midnight.

A complete list of artists and performers will be announced in the coming days.  Admission passes will go on sale December 1 for $9 in advance and will provide access to all First Night activities.  For more information about First Night Raleigh, visit or

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