LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Tens of thousands of people ushered in 2020 in downtown Los Angeles, gathering at Grand Park for the city’s biggest free music and dance party.
The gates opened shortly after 8 p.m. for the massive set-up in front of City Hall, but sound and light checks have been happening all day for the 7th annual Grand Park and the Music Center’s New Year’s Eve L.A.
The event was billed as the city’s go-to central gathering place and it is the West Coast’s flagship New Year’s celebration complete with live music. But beyond the entertainment, the celebration featured more than 40 food trucks serving up tasty eats for a crowd expected to be about 50,000.
The main rule for the night? No alcohol was allowed.
“It’s a low-key event, a mellow crowd,” Paul Parkhurst, an attendee, said. “You don’t have to worry about the effects of people drinking and driving. I don’t have to worry about drinking and getting a ride back anywhere, so that’s why I like this event better.”
In the past Parkhurst has had to work the event, but said he was looking forward to enjoying it.
“I would say from the beginning, L.A. has really embraced this event,” Julia Diamond, Grand Park director, said. “In our very first year, we had 25,000 people who came, which was, I will say, a surprise for everyone. We’ve seen it grow year after year, so now we’re expecting this year about 50,000-plus, and what we’re saying is people coming back. They’re making this their New Year’s.”
For those still making their way down to the celebration, a reminder that liquids are not allowed, unless its a juice box for children.
The festivities were scheduled to last until 1 a.m.