LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — About 50,000 people are celebrating the new year at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. As you might expect with a crowd like that, security is tight.

They came to dance, to eat and to ring in the new year in style.

“It’s the closest thing to New York. So I wanted to get to experience it,” Emily Lamas said.

But being part of one of the biggest celebrations on the West Coast meant dealing with heavy security. No one could come in without being checked with a wand and having their bags checked.

“It’s necessary. We’re not bothered by it, better to be safe than sorry,” Julius Miller said.

More than 600 officers from different agencies were on patrol Saturday night keeping watch on the streets around the event and throughout the park itself. Many people here are aware of the attacks that have happened recently at celebrations in other parts of the world, but they say they didn’t want to let that remote possibility stop them from having fun.

“One president said we shouldn’t live in fear. Enjoy yourself, never be afraid of coming out and having some fun,” Miller said. “If you let people distract you or keep you down, it’s not worth living in the world.”


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