Valley News -

City prepares to welcome new year with favorite fruit


Last updated 12/24/2018 at 8:52am

TEMECULA - A week from today, the city of Temecula will greet 2019 with a salute to fruit, swapping the ball for grapes that will be dropped from the city's clock tower to mark the New Year.

Preparations for the annual "grape drop'' will wrap up this week, with Town Square undergoing a conversion to a Times Square-themed venue for celebrations on the final night of 2018.

Two grape drops are planned -- the first coinciding with the traditional extravaganza in New York City, and the second when the midnight hour approaches on the West Coast.

A city statement says "Temecula's signature celebration invites New Year's Eve revelers to dance to live music, step into the fun zone, enjoy activities and welcome the New Year with two countdowns. Bring your entire family, your friends, lawn chairs and warm blankets to enjoy celebrating together at this free event.''

A large cluster of illuminated grapes will be gradually reeled down 65 feet from the third story of the Civic Center clock tower, marking the seconds before midnight.

The two countdown celebrations are open to the public, with festivities beginning about 6 p.m. Dec. 31 in Town Square Park, outside Temecula City Hall. The party will wrap up about 1 a.m.

Organizers said there will be live musical performances by Danielle Arribe, City Beat Band, Frienz Band and Midnight Ride.

A "kids zone'' will feature hat making, face painting and a "giant slide'' for children of all ages.

City officials are expected to stop in, and vendors will be on hand to sell food and beverages.

The Temecula Valley is home to several dozen vintners, and grapes are the staple product.


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