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in once a year 

Now in its 15th year, ARTSPLOSURE's FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH has exceeded all expectations, both in promoting the popularity of metallic acorns and in boasting an average attendance of around 40,000 people for the past three years. It's a well-conceived event, providing a day's worth of entertainment for the kids and their parents centered around Moore Square, the home of the fabled seed. Michael Stanwood, for instance, demonstrates his ancient Aboriginal wind instruments at The Museum of History at 5 p.m. Other Museum of History festivities include temporary henna tattoos, 2006 headband design and party streamer preparation. Concurrent events at the nearby Musuem of Natural Scienes include a flea circus and Cartoon Island, an all-day oasis of classic animated adventure. The early countdown and party processional happen from 6 to 7 p.m. Then it's time for the parents to throw down: Beaming folk beauty ADRIENNE YOUNG plays the First Presbyterian Sanctuary at 7 p.m., the African-American Dance Ensemble performs at Exploris at 7:30 p.m., and the sensational south-of-the-border sounds of Bio Ritmo siren in the New Year on Moore Square's Main Stage. For more information (there's plenty) visit www.artsplosure.org/firstnightraleigh/2006. Tickets are $9 in advance, $12 at the door for adults and $10 for kids under age 12 (ages 6 and under get in free).

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