First Night Raleigh Drops Giant Acorn For 19th Year With Lift From Southern Crane

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For the 19th straight year, Southern Crane will lower Raleigh’s giant acorn at First Night Raleigh 2010. This longstanding tradition of New Year’s Eve in Raleigh features Southern Crane hoisting into place the city's famous acorn. Weighing 1,250 pounds and made of copper and steel, the giant acorn descends during the countdown to midnight on New Year's Eve.

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Photo courtesy of Artsplosure/First Night Raleigh

“We enjoy being a key participant in the First Night Raleigh tradition, supporting the nonprofit Artsplosure and the City of Raleigh in bringing citizens downtown for a family celebration,” said Earl Johnson, III, president of Southern Crane.

One thing Southern Crane never does is drop the ball. However, for the 19th straight year, the area’s longest-running crane service provider will lower Raleigh’s giant acorn at First Night Raleigh. The tradition of New Year’s Eve in Raleigh features Southern Crane hoisting into place the 1,250 pound acorn, which descends during the countdown to midnight to mark the beginning of a new year. Southern Crane has handled the honor every year since the inaugural First Night Raleigh, held December 31, 1991.

“Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Raleigh has been a long-standing tradition for my family and the Southern Crane staff,” said Earl Johnson, III, president of Southern Crane. “We enjoy being a key participant in the First Night Raleigh tradition, supporting the nonprofit Artsplosure and the City of Raleigh in bringing citizens downtown for a family celebration.”

Made of copper and steel, Raleigh’s giant acorn is more than 10 feet tall and is displayed in Moore Square throughout the year. It was created by sculptor David Benson to celebrate the city's 1992 Bicentennial and Raleigh’s nickname as “The City of Oaks.”

“Artsplosure/First Night Raleigh is so grateful for the incredible generosity Southern Crane has shown in helping to make First Night Raleigh happen. Over the past 19 years, hundreds of thousands of First Night attendees have gleefully enjoyed the lowering of the giant acorn—made possible by Southern Crane,” said Terri Dollar, program director, Artsplosure/First Night Raleigh.

View the massive acorn being hoisted into place beginning on the morning of December 31. Enjoy First Night Raleigh 2010 as the acorn descends later that evening on Fayetteville Street. A time-lapse photo shoot will be available online shortly afterward.

Southern Crane is among the region’s most comprehensive crane and rigging service providers. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Industrial Constructors, one of the largest private employers in North Carolina. Southern Crane advocates nationally for industry safety standards requiring its crane operators to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. All Southern Crane operators have been awarded NCCCO certification.

Founded in 1962 in Raleigh, N.C., Southern Industrial Constructors provides a unique set of heavy industrial construction services to organizations across the country. These services include: comprehensive industrial construction; industrial electrical construction; complete plant relocations, installations and maintenance; turnkey rigging and precision millwright work; heavy lift and crane services; industrial process piping; precision civil/concrete work; and specialized steel fabrication/erection. The company also has offices in Charlotte and Wilmington, N.C., and Columbia, S.C.

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