SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Several events are scheduled for Wednesday and Wednesday night to usher in the New Year, including a couple to welcome the 100th anniversary year of Balboa Park.
The Spreckels Organ Centennial Concert is set to begin at 7 p.m., with a grand processional that will start at the Bea Evenson Fountain in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
The concert will include performances by a 150-voice choir and two bagpipe bands, and will feature a world premiere composition by civic organist Carol Williams.
Also Wednesday, decorative lighting will be turned on along the Cabrillo Bridge, the span over state Route 163 that has been undergoing renovations.
On Thursday, the California Tower at the Museum of Man will open to the public for the first time since 1935.
"When we began discussing how San Diego would commemorate the centennial, I knew we had to celebrate with more than a sheet cake on the Plaza de Panama," said Councilman Todd Gloria, who represents the area.
"The three events this week, the countless exhibits planned for the park's institutions, and the investment of more than $62 million into the park so far ensure that Balboa Park's history will be honored and its future will be strong," said Gloria, who served as interim mayor and City Council president while much of the planning took place.
The councilman said he is most excited about the tower opening. A ribbon-cutting is set for noon on New Year's Day.
Balboa Park first opened for the Panama-California Exhibition in 1915. The tower closed following a second exhibition 80 years ago.
Other New Year's Eve events include:
- a kid-friendly celebration at Legoland California in Carlsbad beginning at 11:30 a.m., with a ceremonial Lego brick drop at 6 p.m.
- a block party hosted by the House of Blues, beginning at 9 p.m. at 1055 Fifth Ave.
- the conclusion of the three-night LED OMFG NYE music festival at 9 p.m. at the Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd.
Performances are also scheduled by Straight No Chaser at the San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave.; The Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers will at the North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave.; and Donavon Frankenreiter and Tom Curran at the Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach.
Area nightclubs and major hotels also plan New Year's Eve celebrations Wednesday night.
Law enforcement officials caution revelers to use public transportation, taxis, or services like Lyft and Uber if they plan to drink.
The Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District will offer late buses, trains and trolleys.
According to the MTS, the final Blue Line trolley to San Ysidro will depart America Plaza at 2:28 a.m., the last Orange Line trolley to El Cajon will leave the Santa Fe Depot at 2:29 a.m., and the last Green Line trolley to San Diego State University will leave the Imperial Transit Center at 2:36 a.m.
Bus lines 7 and 30 will also run late, the MTS said.
The NCTD said the Coaster will have an additional southbound run leaving Oceanside at 10:10 p.m., arriving in downtown San Diego one hour later. An extra northbound train will leave the Santa Fe depot at 12:45 a.m.
Extra Sprinter light-rail service will begin at 9 p.m. in Escondido, with the last train leaving at 1 a.m., according to the NCTD. The final eastbound Sprinter from Oceanside will leave just after 2 a.m.
All NCTD transportation will be free after 6 p.m.
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