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Prepping the Famed Acorn for First Night: Raleigh
Written by Jeff Hamlin & Josh Zach   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 12:48

(RALEIGH) -- With time running out in 2011, David Benson finds himself busier than ever. He's the man responsible for repairing the acorn that will steadily be lowered during First Night Raleigh on New Year's Eve. Benson says he got going earlier this month on the piece that he designed and donated for Raleigh's bicentennial in 1992.

"I started [cleaning] it about three weeks ago and I will be finishing it this week. It usually takes me about two to three days to get a handle on it."

The acorn incurred some damage when a tornado whipped through downtown Raleigh on April 16 during a severe weather outbreak. Benson says that damage increased his workload.

"I had to take the panels off and then weld the damaged structure back on the inside, and shore it up with some extra steel."

As the ball drop - or "acorn drop" - nears, Benson reflects on the piece that he designed 19 years ago, and still maintains to this day.

"we've formed traditions in our lives. This one I didn't go out of my way to for. It just kind of happened, so I guess I'm stuck with it [chuckles]... but I really like do it."

With another New Year's Eve weekend just around the corner, it's another countdown for Benson to put the final touches on the famed giant acorn. He says rain can be a fickle adversary.

"If it rains, then [the acorn] oxidizes and I need to clean it again before the event. But, you know, we've had some really great weather for the event the past five or six years."

First Night Raleigh is this Saturday night.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 December 2011 00:00


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