Southern California Wine Country has a glowing and growing New Year’s Eve Tradition – The Great Temecula Grape Drop Countdown and New Year’s Eve bash where an enormous bunch of illuminated grapes descends from the tower at Temecula City Hall. This is a free family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with an east coast (9 p.m.) and west coast (midnight) countdown, three bands in concert on the steps of city hall, and three other bands positioned outdoors in the historic Old Town district for New Year’s Eve revelers to enjoy.
Dynamite Dave, Grazie the Clown and the party jump are in Town Square from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. At the Main Street parking lot, big band fans will be able to dance in the new year with the Valley Winds Big Band from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
All the festivities at city hall, are centered around “Temecula on Ice,” the city’s seasonal ice rink. The Ice Rink is open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with regular hour sessions. A special session from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. offers more than three hours of ice skating while waiting for the big midnight countdown. For additional information, call: 951-297-9ICE. (951-297-9423).
The place to be at 9 p.m. and midnight is Town Square Park, as all music stops and spectators wait for the Grape Drop Countdown. Made of over 90 sequined balls, 50 illuminated spheres, and 10 giant illuminated leaves, the glowing bunch of grapes is made of over 4,500 LED lights and is 12 feet long by 7 feet wide. Coined the “Great Grape Drop,” the grapes signify Temecula’s wine and agricultural industry.
“Each year the crowd gets bigger and the excitement greater,” stated Melody Brunsting who created both the grape drop concept and the grapes. “This is better than Time Square. Families hang out at the civic center playing board games, dancing with their children and it’s free. You can choose your dinner from all the restaurants in Old Town, or bring a picnic basket, and then celebrate a giant countdown.”
This is the fifth year for the celebration. Chairs and patio heaters will be provided at Town Square and the quad at the Civic Center but guests are encouraged to bring fold up chairs and wear warm clothing. Picnic baskets and blankets are welcome. Guests are encouraged to bring fold up chairs and wear warm clothing. Picnic baskets and blankets are welcome. Please be aware that it is illegal to have open containers of alcohol on Temecula’s streets and sidewalks. The civic center will also be open for families to play board games and stay warm waiting for the countdown.
For a schedule of Old Town Temecula events contact the City of Temecula, (951) 678-1456 or visit www.temeculaevents.org