RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A little rain wasn’t enough to dampen the mood and keep people from heading out Saturday night to ring in the New Year.

Thousands made their way to Fayetteville Street on New Year’s Eve for one of Raleigh’s largest celebrations.

“Experiencing art and community and coming together is a really big deal for starting the New Year,” said Artsplosure Marketing Director Lucy McInnis.

Wind and rain kept crowds from rushing in earlier in the afternoon and impacted a few events, but McInnis — who helped organize First Night Raleigh — said people remained hopeful that the weather would improve as midnight approached.

McInnis encouraged people to head to one of the multiple indoor venues where people could check out several performances.

By 7 p.m., not only did the rain wrap up, but several families showed their excitement by gathering for an early countdown to watch the admired acorn drop as well as a firework display.

(Mariah Ellis/CBS 17)

“We can see them from our house, but not as well as we can from here,” said Kelly Hudgins while watching the early display of fireworks with her husband and three-year-old son named Isaac.

Hudgins said it’s a tradition for the family to head downtown on New Year’s Eve, and that it felt good to see large crowds coming together.

She said the pandemic really changed events like this since 2020.

“Seeing the acorn drop and the fireworks… it’s just a fun time to be with family and friends,” her husband, Andrew, added.

For Bobby Pierce and Devon Burnfield, attending the celebration may become a new tradition.

The two said they recently moved to Raleigh from West Virginia.

“Events like this really make it feel like home to us,” Pierce said.

Burnfield said they were not only excited to say goodbye to 2022, but they’re also ready to welcome a new year.

Burnfield said they recently started a wedding business and remain excited to see their business take off in 2023.

For Ani and Vibha Shirsad, a new year means new beginnings.

“We’re trying to build our home here and my wife is pregnant, as well, so we’re expecting,” Ani said.

The couple couldn’t hide their excitement and said it was their first time celebrating New Year’s Eve in Raleigh.

While many people shared their New Year’s resolutions and things they look forward to in 2023, many said the special part about the celebration is the time you spend by coming together.

People ended the night with smiles, hugs and by wishing others a Happy New Year.