LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of residents gathered in downtown Los Angeles Thursday night to ring in the new year at Grand Park.

Starting at 8 p.m., attendees began to gather at the 200 block of North Grand Avenue. The event will run until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Several street closures will be enforced at 6 p.m. near the park, police said.

CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo said as many as 50,000 were expected to attend. That is up from 40,000 who rang in 2015.

The countdown to 2016 will be projected onto the side of Los Angeles City Hall using a 3D animation. Additional projections will be illuminating City Hall, the County Hall of Records and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion throughout the night.

Tonight’s celebration will be the first year that the Music Center Plaza will be used as a music stage and other activities.

The alcohol-free event will feature 30 food vendors and three music stages.

A contemporary dance piece, a shadow puppet gallery and light displays showing New Year’s themed messages will also be displayed.

Security is also expected to be heightened: authorities say those attending the event can expect to walk through metal detectors and have their bags checked before entering the gated area.

According to event coordinators, 90 acres have been added to accommodate the larger crowd.

The Music Center has organized this event for the past three years.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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