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    Posted December 15, 2011 by
    Temecula, California
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    Temecula Does New Year's With Grape Appeal

    Clark Griswold eat your heart out. More than 3300 twinkling and L.E.D lights, with 36 illuminated spheres and 48 sequined balls make up the 5 foot by 8 foot bunch of grapes that will descend from the Temecula Civic Center clock tower for the 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve Grape Drop Countdown and celebration, Dec. 31.
    It's New Year's Eve- Temecula style. With five bands, dancing at the civic center plaza, two countdowns, a 3,500 square foot ice rink, and children’s activities, New Year's on the Square is a family-friendly celebration to fit any budget. Bands are playing free at three different locations in town. While face painting, a party jump and Dynamite Dave's unique balloon hats are free at Old Town's Town Square, bands will play at the Civic Center Plaza, on Main Street at the Lorimar Winery Parking Lot, and on Front Street at the Tesoro Winery Parking Lot.
    Kids’ activities are scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. The Ice Rink is also open for regular sessions until 12:30 a.m. January 1. Deejay Geoffrey Gaier will emcee the East Coast (9 p.m.) and West Coast (midnight) countdowns by broadcasting through the Old Town sound system to synchronize all the New Year's Eve Old Town activities.
    "It's just plain fun to watch a giant bunch of grapes descend to a countdown,” stated Melody Brunsting who created both the grape drop concept and the grapes. "This is better than New York. There is no admission charge, you don't have to camp out for 24 hours, you can pick and choose your dinner from all the restaurants in Old Town, and then celebrate a giant countdown."
    Open Road will get the party started at the Civic Center beginning at 6 p.m. Playing until the East Coast countdown at 9 p.m. this local band offers a top 40/classic rock, pop and jazz playlist . A band comprised entirely of professional studio musicians and teachers, Open Road provides a huge sound featuring Kenneth Rice on the saxophone, guitarist Buddy Mercer, and drummer/vocalist Paul Pierce.
    The Valley Winds Big Band will play at the Tesoro Winery parking lot and help usher in the East Coast New Year from 6 to 9 p.m. with swing sounds and dancing. Silver Beatles, a tribute band that plays all the Beatles tunes, will perform in the parking lot at Lorimar Winery on Main Street from 6 to 8:50 p.m. Twin McGraw will play at Sweet Lumpy's from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    At 9:30 at the Civic Center the band Safety Orange will rock in the New Year and midnight countdown. Started by Harry Elmore and Sol Turpin as a fun after-surf activity, the musicians created an original fun beach vibe - Beach Rock, a blend of rock, reggae, rap, punk, and Ska that is popular in San Diego. The band will be surfin' into Temecula after a through Las Vegas, Nevada and Sun Valley Idaho. Safety Orange has performed in Old Town Temecula for Hot Summer Nights and always draws a crowd from the youngest break dancer to 40-something moonwalkers.
    Revelers will be able to dance at the Civic Center quad and see the grape drop close up. Chairs and patio heaters will be provided at each band location, but guests are encouraged to bring fold up chairs and wear warm clothing. Picnic baskets and blankets are welcome. Please be aware that it is illegal to have open containers of alcohol on Temecula’s streets and sidewalks.
    Most of Temecula's restaurants and wine tasting bars are open for New Year's Eve. Check with your favorite for hours of operation and reservation requirements
    The Ice Rink is open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with regular hour sessions. New Year’s Eve has two additional sessions; one at 10 p.m. and another that runs from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Cost is $10 per person per session and $2.50 for skate rental. For additional information call: 951-694-6ICE (951-694-6423).
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