Live music, ice skating, carriage rides and the traditional raising of the crown at midnight will be part of uptown Charlotte’s New Year’s Eve celebration Wednesday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza.
Formerly known as First Night Charlotte, the celebration – now called CLT New Year’s Eve – is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and will be sponsored by Charlotte Center City Partners and WBT Radio.
Activities will be centered at the plaza, at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Brevard Street. That’s where WBT’s Holiday on Ice outdoor skating rink has been in operation since November.
WBT operations director Matt DuBois said partygoers can listen to the music, skate or enjoy several other activities that will take place during the celebration.
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“And we’ll ring in the new year with the raising of the crown and some pyrotechnics,” DuBois said.
CLT New Year’s Eve is the latest version of what in previous years was a celebration featuring live performances at various venues in uptown. Last year, the event was held at Romare Bearden Park with a format similar to this year’s festivities.
As has been the case in recent years, the uptown celebration has been declared an extraordinary event by city officials. That gives police and other officials the ability to restrict the types of items that people can bring into the extraordinary events zone.
There will be no admission charge, although the usual $10 fee for skating will be in place (plus $3 for skate rental). There also will be a charge for carriage rides and food sold by food trucks.
The event will be alcohol-free.
“This is a great time to be in Charlotte to enjoy the festivities,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Major Jeff Estes said Tuesday at a news conference at CMPD headquarters.
Estes was referring to Tuesday night’s Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium, the CLT New Year’s Eve celebration and Saturday’s NFL playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.
He expects the biggest challenge throughout the week to be managing traffic.
Estes said he hopes everyone has a fun time, but he urged them to celebrate responsibly, as police will be on the lookout, as usual, for scalpers, alcohol violators and other offenders.