SOURCE: Southern Crane

Southern Crane Raleigh, North Carolina crane company

December 29, 2010 10:00 ET

First Night Raleigh Drops Giant Acorn for 20th Year With Lift From Southern Crane

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - December 29, 2010) - Atlanta has its peach. Mt. Olive has a pickle. New York has an apple. Here in Raleigh, the highlight of the New Year's Eve celebration is an acorn descending from the sky. For the 20th straight year, Raleigh's own Southern Crane will help the City of Oaks celebrate a new year by lowering the giant acorn made of 1,250 pounds of copper and steel. 

Southern Crane has handled the honor every year since the inaugural First Night Raleigh, held December 31, 1991. That initial request seemed a tad unusual, according to Earl Johnson, III, president of Southern Crane. Two decades later the acorn has come to define Raleigh.

"When we first lowered the giant acorn, we weren't sure if people would turn out to see it. But the crowd really got into it, reaching out to try and touch it," Johnson said. "Celebrating New Year's Eve in Raleigh has become a tradition for the entire Southern Crane staff."

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."

"Southern Crane is an integral part of First Night Raleigh," said Terri Dollar, program director, Artsplosure/First Night Raleigh. "Over the past 20 years, hundreds of thousands of First Night attendees have cheered at the lowering of the giant acorn -- made possible by Southern Crane."

View the massive acorn being hoisted into place beginning on the morning of December 31. Enjoy First Night Raleigh as the acorn descends later that evening on Fayetteville Street.

"We enjoy being a key participant in this tradition. It supports the nonprofit Artsplosure and the City of Raleigh, bringing citizens downtown for a family friendly celebration," said Johnson.

For complete information about First Night Raleigh activities and the 20th annual acorn drop, visit

Southern Crane is a comprehensive crane and rigging service provider, and 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 and requires all its crane operators to be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. Founded in 1962 in Raleigh, N.C., Southern Industrial Constructors also has offices in Charlotte and Wilmington, N.C., and Columbia, S.C.

First Night Raleigh is presented by Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival, Inc., a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to produce high-quality annual festivals that celebrate excellence in performing and visual arts; to promote and bring recognition to national, regional, and local artists; and to bring artists and the larger community together to improve the quality of life and cultural environment. Since its first festival in April 1980, Artsplosure has presented thousands of established and emerging artists whose works span many disciplines and art forms.

Contact Information

  • Jennifer Wig
    (919) 830-8688