Charlottes First Night celebration got under way at midday Monday, with the areas children getting the first chance to party in the start of a new year.
Meanwhile, Charlotte officials said grown-up revelers will have to abide by the citys Extraordinary Events law when they gather Monday evening for the New Years Eve party in the uptown area.
First Night Kids continues until 5 p.m., offering children a chance to see live entertainment at several venues across the central part of the city. The childrens celebration will be highlighted at 4:50 p.m., with a countdown to the start of 2013.
Then the party will start again at 7 p.m., with the regular First Night celebration.
The highlight comes at midnight, with the adults countdown to the new year.
All of it takes place in an alcohol-free atmosphere.
Meteorologists say the weather will be good, with cloudy skies and mild temperatures.
Interim City Manager Julie Burch said Monday morning that the Extraordinary Events ordinance will be in effect this evening. That law prohibits people from bringing items such as potential weapons, backpacks, and glass items into the Extraordinary Events Zone.
Burch said that zone will be inside an area bordered by 7th Street, Church Street, Stonewall Street, and South Davidson Street.
The ordinance was adopted by city council in January and was used for events such as the Duke Energy shareholders meeting, Food Lion Speed Street, the Fourth of July uptown events, and the Democratic National Convention.
A full list of prohibited items can be found online.
Events are taking place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame; the nearby WBT Holidays on Ice rink; the Belk Action Center at 330 South Tryon Street; the Wells Fargo Atrium; the Green on South Tryon Street; and the Duke Energy main stage on the Levine Avenue of the Arts.
Admission is by wristband, and the bands went on sale at 11 a.m. They are $10 for adults, and $5 for children ages 5-12 (with a banded adult), with children 4 and younger free. The wristbands are on sale at the Levine Avenue of the Arts; the Wells Fargo Atrium; or at the Visitor Information Center, 330 South Tryon Street.
Children will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment, including storytellers, magicians, science experiments, dance, and music.
It will be more of the same at the adults event, with the addition of a flash mob, comedians, and circus acts. The Thistledown Tinkers will be among featured acts at the Belk Action Center, and several acts set for the Wells Fargo Atrium.
Simply Irresistible will perform on the main stage at the Levine Museum of the Arts from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
The big event means a number of streets are closed in the uptown area -- Levine Avenue of the Arts, between Church and Tryon streets; and Tryon Street, between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stonewall Street.
Charlotte Area Transit System officials said extra Lynx Blue Line trains will run through 1:30 a.m. Buses will run on their weekday schedule, with select routes leaving the Charlotte Transportation Center at 1:30 a.m. Moira Quinn of Charlotte Center City Partners recommends mass transit but said many lots and decks uptown will offer flat-rate parking ranging from $5 to $10.
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