On Dec. 31, 2008 Wake Forest rang in the New Year along South White Street and kicked off its 2009 Centennial Celebration with the first-ever First Light Wake Forest.
A non-alcoholic celebration, First Light Wake Forest attracted families, seniors, singles and anyone who was looking for an inexpensive, fun way to ring in the New Year.
FIRST LIGHT SPONSORS
Wake Electric and Wake Forest Power co-sponsored the inaugural First Light Wake Forest.
"We are very excited to have Wake Electric and Wake Forest as sponsors of First Light Wake Forest," said First Light Wake Forest Planning Chair Brian Pate.
"This partnership was born of shared values and a shared commitment to the community. Their cooperation ensured a once-in-a-lifetime New Year's Eve celebration and a fitting kick-off to the 2009 Wake Forest Centennial Celebration."
A FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT
The First Light Wake Forest Planning Committee met regularly to plan a fun-filled, family-friendly event.
Activities for the children included inflatable play areas, and a six-foot climbing wall. There was also an early countdown at 8:30 pm designed for children. Karaoke, contests, caricature artists, great cuisine, and music featuring The Voltage Brothers and The Will McBride Group were among the many other aspects families enjoyed.
In addition, Paul Miller of Flow Circus performed amazing, close-up, in-your-hands magic. Children and adults enjoyed as balls vanished and appeared, rubber bands visually penetrated, and cards were revealed in most amazing ways. Families relished in Paul's delightful and endearing character improvisations and play! Paul performed in various locations along South White Street throughout the evening.
Finally, several downtown businesses were open during this event and many had special offers to commemorate the kick-off to Wake Forest's 2009 Centennial Celebration.
THE VOLTAGE BROTHERS
The Voltage Brothers out of Atlanta, Georgia, headlined our inaugural New Year's Eve event.
The group has been creating heart-stopping, high voltage music since 1969, when they were just teenagers in their hometown of Rochester, N.Y. Now every city on the eastern seaboard of the United States claims The Voltage Brothers as their own, and nobody can watch them sing, dance and play without jumping out of their seats to join in the fun.
From Classic Rock to Swing, and everything in between, including Carolina Beach music, Disco, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Motown, Pop and Rhythm & Blues, The Voltage Brothers can cover virtually any sound, plus add a few extra hot licks with their own original music.
Originally know as "Funky Heavy," then "The Destinations," The Voltage Brothers have toured with the Kool Jazz Festival. They have appeared with Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, The Commodores, The O'Jays, Kool & The Gang, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Teddy Pendergrass and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a few. They performed at nine straight Super Bowls from 1991 to 1999. They were special guest artists at the 1993 President's Dinner in Washington, D.C., the Presidential Inaugurations of 2001 and 2005, and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The venue and show bills alone are testament to their versatility and broad appeal.”
THE WILL MCBRIDE GROUP
The Voltage Brothers took take the stage at 9:30 p.m., but Wake Forest's very own Will McBride and The Will McBride Group officially started the party beginning at 6:15 p.m.
The Will McBride Group is a guitar-based jazz trio that presents a truly unique blend of jazz, edgy funk/pop and Latin stylings, full of rich color-chording, impressive melodic solo and vocal work, all supported with superb rhythmic backing. Think Steely Dan meets Antonio Carlos Jobim meets Wes Montgomery! The group has performed on shows with Nantucket, Latin grammy saxophonist David Sanchez, and The John Brown Quintet.
To learn more about how Wake Forest continued celebrating its 100-year anniversary, visit our 2009 Centennial Celebration web page.