It's a tradition at Old Sacramento. Thousands of people gather to see fireworks and welcome the new year. There's no firm countdown, but when the fireworks explode, you say "Happy New Year". I've done this a few times, and play "Auld Lang Syne" on my iPod.
Since I had New Year's Eve 2012 free, I decided to go join the throngs after watching CNN ring in the New Year with the new traditional NYE hosts, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper. We could always see Taylor Swift or whoever later on YouTube or DVR. It was around 35 degrees, but I wanted to brave the cold anyway
Then, I heard on News 10 that something happened at this bar....
Bullets flew, two people died, three were injured, and thousands of people were told to go home. Instead of people cheering when the clock struck 12, the only people in Old Sacramento were police looking for the culprit who ruined New Year's Eve in the worst possible way
I sent to Old Sac around eleven a-m New Year's Day, and it was nearly deserted. There were some stores open, but it was mostly a few people and TV reporters...
At the foot of that picture was a New Year's Eve horn that went unused. Here's a closer look, which symbolized the whole night....
I also woke up around eight a-m by the sound of someone setting off firecrackers. I wondered why until I later found out it was really the fireworks that weren't used the night before. (Update: Sacramento officials said they had to get rid of the fireworks as soon as possible because of the danger. That makes sense).
I was ready to welcome the new year with a Twinkie, Auld Lang Syne and a bottle of beer near Tower Bridge. Instead, I watch TV, switching Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly, and an attempt by an L-A station to have its own West Coast version of ringing in the new year. It wasn't good, but hopefully they'll try again by using KTLA instead of KDOC, and getting better entertainment.
Having it at Grauman's Chinese was a good idea, but how they hoped to make a California version of Times Square didn't work out. They should try again. KRON did something like this way back in the 1980's.
Even though 2013 did not start off well, it doesn't mean the whole year's ruined. We can do better. There's plenty of time. I think when we welcome 2014 364 days from now, we'll make sure we will get to sing Auld Lang Syne from the Southern Pacific station to the Tower Bridge.