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Dahlonega offers family-friendly New Years Eve event
First Night and Gold Nugget drop slated for Dec. 31 in downtown
1224-GO-BAD-HABITS
The Bad Habits band will perform from 8-8:45 p.m. at the Holly Theater and again during the ‘Nugget Drop’ on the square in downtown Dahlonega.

First Night Dahlonega and inaugural Gold Nugget Drop
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31
Where: Downtown Dahlonega
Cost: $10 for adults and free for children younger than 12 and active duty military
More info: dahlonegafirstnight.com

As the first night of the new year approaches, Dahlonega will mark the end of 2015 with its first-ever New Year’s Eve celebration.

Downtown Dahlonega will host First Night festivities in a family-friendly fashion and top the night off with the midnight “Nugget Drop” in the square.

The fun begins at 6 p.m. with opening entertainment in the square. Then downtown venues — including Dahlonega Baptist Church, Holly Theater, St. Luke Catholic Church and Dahlonega United Methodist Church — will host entertainment acts starting at 7 p.m. The Nugget Drop will conclude the event on the square at midnight.

“We’ve got 16 major acts,” said Dan Harding, First Night committee chairman.

The musical acts range from country and rock ’n’ roll to alternative and orchestral sounds. Some of the acts include: singer-songwriter Amy Ray, Frank Sinatra Idol Competition winner Gabe Russo, country musician Kurt Thomas, the North Georgia Chamber Symphony, singer-songerwriter Mark Stokes, coer band More Wah and rock ’n’ roll band, Bad Habits Band.

For times and locations of all the entertainment, visit dahlonegafirstnight.com/entertainment.

While adults will be entertained by music, children will not be left out of the fun.

“We’ve got all kinds of stuff for little kids,” Harding said. “Everything from balloons to games. We’ll have a few mascots running around.”

The Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office will have a patrol car available for kids to look at, while a fire truck will be on hand for children to explore.

“I think we have two bouncy houses, and there’s going to be a guy doing tricks with a dog,” Harding said.

Tickets are $10 for adults and can be purchased at the event or online. Children younger than 12 and active duty military enter for free.

But Harding encourages guests to buy the tickets early.

“We’re going to limit the sale of tickets to 2,000,” he said. “You purchase a button, and it’s got a design on it and everything. For $10 you get an awful lot of entertainment.”

And the money for the tickets will go to a good cause.

“We’ve established a little community called Jeremiah’s Place that’s founded for the homeless of Lumpkin County,” he said. “To keep that functioning, we needed to raise money. So that’s what we are trying to do with First Night.”

Harding added the inspiration for the event is the other New Year’s Eve celebrations around the country.

“Some have been going on for over 30 years,” he said. “So that’s what gave us the idea for this fundraiser.”

First Night will have something for everyone, but Harding was sure to make clear the point of the celebration: “The main focus is that it’s a family-friendly New Year’s Eve.”

For information, visit dahlonegafirstnight.com.

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