Temecula invites community to ring in the New Year

The city of Temecula’s New Year’s Eve Grape Drop welcomes residents to come down and ring in the New Year with live music, two grape drops, activities for all ages and more Tuesday, Dec. 31. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

If you’re a Temecula resident and you haven’t experienced ringing in the new year with the city of Temecula and its annual New Year’s Eve Grape Drop event, 2020 might be the year to do it.

Starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31 in Town Square, right in front of Temecula City Hall, the event has been taking place since 2009, when the city moved into its new facilities.

“The first event was extremely successful and residents simply loved it, so we have continued the tradition ever since,” Temecula Community Services manager Wilhe Augustine said. “This signature special event known throughout the community as the Temecula Grape Drop takes place twice as the grand, illuminated, grape bunch descends marking a warm, boisterous welcome to 2020. The grape cluster recognizing Temecula’s wine and agricultural industry.”

When Augustine said “twice,” she meant that there will be two celebrations – one at 9 p.m. to recognize the East Coast New Year so the children can get home and in bed before midnight and the other being the midnight celebration.

“Temecula’s custom-crafted, illuminated grape cluster will descend twice down the 65-foot drop to the third-story patio of the beautiful Civic Center clock tower on New Year’s Eve,” Augustine said. “Temecula’s 11-foot fiberglass grape cluster was custom-designed and created by 60 GRIT Studios in 2015 right here in Temecula.”

Augustine said that close to 4,000 citizens come out for the combined grape drops.

“It grows every year,” she said. “This event truly brings our community together to welcome in the New Year together. This signature special event is a beloved tradition that families come out to enjoy year after year. This event is what helps us maintain that small-town feel that Temecula is so famous for. There is just something about the community of all ages coming together on this very special night in Old Town outside the Civic Center.”

New Year’s Eve revelers will enjoy live music by Jillian Calkins at 6 p.m., Jill and Leo Trio at 7 p.m., Chris Fast Blues Blast at 8:30 p.m. and Mrs. Jones’ Revenge at 10:30 p.m.

Children can play in the fun zone to enjoy activities such as hat-making, face painting, carnival games and a giant slide.

While you’re there, take a spin on Temecula On Ice, the ice rink located in front of Town Square, sponsored by the Temecula Valley Auto Mall. Ice skating can be enjoyed for a fee and rental skates and Bobby skating aids are available. For questions, please email temeculaonice@gmail.com.

Of course, there are a plethora of restaurants in Old Town Temecula for food options, but there will be vendors selling food and treats during the event.

“Come early to beat the long lines and be sure to bring your own chairs and blankets – none are provided – so you can sit back and enjoy the night’s festivities,” Augustine said.

Free Parking is always available at the Old Town Parking Garage accessible at Third Street and Mercedes, 28690 Mercedes Street.

For more information on this and other events in the city of Temecula, visit www.temeculaca.gov.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.