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New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and plans are being made around the world for the most celebrated night of the year, New Year’s Eve.

Fayetteville is no different. No need to take a plane, train, or Uber anywhere else. This year marks the third year the Cool Spring Downtown District is bringing fun, music, and food to Downtown Fayetteville with the Night Circus: A District New Year’s Eve Spectacular.

Gates open to the Night Circus in Festival Park at 7 p.m. and the party doesn’t stop until 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1st. Parents, not to fear; a sensory-friendly and bedtime-friendly countdown will take place at around 9 p.m. for those wanting to wrap up the party and get the little ones back home.

Organizers have taken great care in planning this year’s event, with this year promising to be better than last. Setting the mood from beginning to end, attendees will be met with carnival performers of all kinds.
Ashanti Bennett, Director of Special Projects for Cool Spring Downtown District said, “Contributing to the festivities, we will have stilt walkers, fire dancers, aerialists, magicians, tarot readers, face painters, and more!”

Food trucks will be on hand to sling the food amongst the fun. CQue BBQ, Fry Papi, The Carnival Cart, and Popcorn Is Us are among those slated to be parked in the park, along with other favorites and downtown staples.

Attendees will be on their feet dancing the night away with two 90s legends taking the stage. Performing on the stage at this year’s event is the multitalented, Brooklyn native and third member of the Hip-Hop group, Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Spinderella, bringing classics like "Push It" and "Whatta Man."

Coheadling is Baltimore-founded, Billboard and Soul Train Award-winning R&B group, Dru Hill, led by the blonde crooner himself, Sisqo, bringing their hits like "Beauty," "5 Steps" and "These Are the Times." Attendees can expect to sing and dance the night away with these artists hitting the stage.

Last year brought Tony! Toni! Tone!, another popular 90’s group.

Bennett said this was done with purpose.

“The Night Circus has had great success with its 90s theme. The music from that era is cross-generational and widely popular across diverse audiences.”

Anyone who knows 90s music knows these are some big names coming to Fayetteville to ring in the New Year. Bennett explains the process of getting these big names was no small feat, but one that produced perfect alignment for this lineup.

“We have several booking agents that we work with for our events; we start with sending them a wishlist roster of artists, and then we work with the agents to determine availability and budgetary concerns, a process that takes lots of phone calls and emails, over many weeks. I like to think it was a bit of Night Circus magic that aligned the stars so that we could welcome both Spinderella and Dru Hill to our Fayetteville NYE Spectacular.”

As the night winds down and the clock winds up, the celebration will conclude with a spectacular showcase. Raleigh has the acorn and New York City has the ball, but nothing compares to the Fayetteville star. At midnight, attendees will watch the iconic (you heard it here first) LED “custom built” 18 foot star drop from above the stage as fireworks illuminate the night sky, a celebration not to miss.
Last year’s celebration brought in 12,000 people. Bennett would love to see 15,000 people this year and has plans to make this event bigger and better next year.

“For next year, we have a number of ideas to shake things up and keep the event fresh, but we are not quite ready for any kind of reveal at this time. Audiences need not worry though - we will definitely still bring the party that Fayetteville has come to expect and love!”

Cool Spring Downtown District isn’t slowing down; Night Circus, is just the beginning (literally).
After a much-needed break, Bennett said the team will be back in the office and ready to work on several events coming in the spring..

"We will put our energy toward the return of 4th Friday in March 2024, our Arts in Motion trolley event series, the third annual Juneteenth Jubilee, and many more. That's in addition to our public art projects, downtown marketing and promotion initiatives, and economic development projects that make up the work of managing an arts and entertainment district," she said.

For more information about upcoming events or to learn more about the Cool Spring Downtown District, follow them on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CoolSpringDowntownDistrict.

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