Local

Grand Park prepares for its New Year's Eve kick-off

An art installation is displayed in Grand Park in front of City Hall for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
An art installation is displayed in Grand Park in front of City Hall for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
Katherine Davis/KPCC
An art installation is displayed in Grand Park in front of City Hall for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
An art installation is displayed downtown in Grand Park for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
Katherine Davis/KPCC
An art installation is displayed in Grand Park in front of City Hall for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
Workers prepare a stage in Grand Park for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
Katherine Davis/KPCC
An art installation is displayed in Grand Park in front of City Hall for a New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
A sign advertises Grand Park's first ever New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2013.
Katherine Davis/KPCC


Downtown's Grand Park is just over a year old. Now it's trying to start a new tradition. Operators of the park want it to become an annual center for the city's New Year's Eve festivities.

Los Angeles has never had much of a central point for a large public New Year's Eve party to compete with those of other big cities, but Thursday's NYE organizers say they hope they can encourage the community to come out to celebrate.

The park hosted a Fourth of July party this summer, attracting thousands of visitors. Organizers of Thursday's event are hoping for a similarly strong turnout.

The festivities will include food trucks and a beer garden, along with art installations, live music, deejay sets, and dance performances by local artists. But event organizer Tati Simonian says the "centerpiece" of the event will be City Hall. The building, which sits at the east end of the park, will be the backdrop for 22 stories of light projections.

"At midnight you will definitely see a very spectacular countdown," Simonian says. "We're trying to keep the program a little bit mysterious, but all eyes should be on City Hall."

Grand Park's New Year's celebration will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 12:30 a.m. Admission is free.