Mystical, magical New Year’s Eve: Bring in the New Year with a magical night circus, returning to Downtown Fayetteville in 2023

By Kate Griffin, posted 2 months ago
Local talent will provide supporting opening acts onstage before the much-anticipated headliners, DJ Spinderella, of Grammy-award winning Salt-n-Pepa and Billboard Music chart topping band Dru Hill featuring Sisqó - PHOTO PROVIDED BY COOL SPRING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT

Returning for its third year, Cool Spring Downtown District’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular: The Night Circus keeps up the high energy with big name headliners, roaming circus performers, vendors, games, fireworks and more. Based on Erin Morganstern’s “The Night Circus,” this New Year’s Eve celebration is unlike any other. It is a wonderful event that is conveniently located in Festival Park from 7 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.
“The concept [is] loosely based on that book which had the circus that comes into a town, engages the townsfolk in all these magical adventures and when they wake up in the morning they’re gone. I like the idea of that ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ sort of moment, especially as we were coming out of the pandemic, that was a large sentiment at the time,” said Director of Special Projects for Cool Spring Downtown District Ashanti Bennett.

The Night Circus will maintain its whimsical theme with roaming circus performers, fire dancers, stilt-walkers and magicians to add to the ambience of the event. Local talent will provide supporting opening acts onstage before the much-anticipated headliners, DJ Spinderella, of Grammy-award winning Salt-N-Pepa and Billboard Music chart topping band Dru Hill featuring Sisqó bringing the new year in with a party!
“What I like about our event is you get some of that big city pizzazz most folks travel for, but it’s literally right here in our own Festival Park,” said Bennett. “You get to see the caliber of performances we’ve been able to bring to the stage like in the past like Coolio, Tony! Toni! Toné! this year with Spinderella and Dru Hill and it’s free. I think that’s a wonderful thing to not have to travel elsewhere and possibly pay more to actually see that.”
Local food trucks will be available for festive food and a beer and wine garden hosted by Healy Wholesale and a cigar bar provided by the Livery Cigar Emporium will be available for guests. There will also be the rising of the LED star at midnight with fireworks, as well as a sensory-friendly children’s countdown at 9 p.m. 

“So our little Fayettevillians can year before bedtime and before mom and dad embarrass them with all their embarrassing 90s dance moves when Dru Hill gets on stage,” shared Bennett. “It feels like a community event with warmth that emanates from it, but it also radiates as high a caliber of an event as you would expect to see somewhere else in the Triad or the Triangle Area.”
Putting together an event this magical is a team effort and volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are easily accessed on the website With free admission into the event itself, the Night Circus truly is a one of a kind event that is sure to dazzle guests from all over. 

The Night Circus just keeps getting better and better with every year and the numbers don’t lie.
“We anticipate an increased attendance; each year it has gone up little bit by little bit. Last year we had anywhere between about 12,000-15,000 people attend and I am hopeful we will see a significant increase in number from last year,” said Bennett.
Cool Spring Downtown District partners with multiple local corporations and organizations and smaller businesses to make this event happen and stay free for guests. Some but not all include ABC-11 as title sponsor, PWC, the Arts Council of Cumberland County, Beasley Media Group and Healy Wholesale Co. Inc.
“[We’re] very much focused and centered on amplifying our downtown as the jewel of our city and anything anyone wants to do to help and participate with that is welcome to come aboard,” shared Bennett.

With such a convenient location for locals, there is something for everyone to choose from. The Night Circus once again promises to deliver an unforgettable night of celebration for all in a unique way not seen very often. The embracing of the theming of a magical circus synergizing with such big headliners in your own downtown brings a truly unique experience to Fayetteville.
“Across the nation for all sorts of celebrations, folks are dropping something down at midnight and we choose to elevate and raise up a star, an 18 foot multicolored LED star into the sky and I think it’s just significant of the branding we had,” said Bennett. “But even before that, that notion of America’s Can-Do City, we don’t want to drop something, we want to raise the vibration a little bit when it comes to midnight and transitioning and looking forward. It absolutely makes us very happy to see that little guy go up in the sky,” shared Bennett. “I hope we see you all at the circus!”

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