New Year's Eve LA at Grand Park: What you need to know

Tens of thousands of New Year's Eve revelers were expected to gather in downtown Los Angeles's Grand Park Thursday night to watch the countdown to 2016 and greet the new year.

The Music Center, which organizes events throughout the year at Grand Park, has billed the countdown, now in its third year, as Los Angeles' own centralized event for residents and visitors to celebrate the coming of the new year.

The Grand Park countdown drew an estimated 40,000 people last year, with organizers anticipating even more attendees this year. The festivities begin at 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, ending on New Year's Day at 1 a.m.

As in the past two years, the countdown will be projected onto the side of Los Angeles City Hall using 3D animation created by the Los Angeles design firm yU+co. Additional projections will also be illuminating City Hall, the County Hall of Records and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion throughout the night.

This will be the first year the Music Center Plaza will be used as space for a music stage and other activities.

"People will not only be able to dance on the plaza and interact with the animated light projections on the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but (will) have an amazing vantage point to view this incredible spectacular with light projections on three major downtown L.A. buildings,'' Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera said.

The addition of a section of Grand Avenue and the Music Center Plaza increases the event space from 84 acres to 90 acres, which includes 12 acres of Grand Park, the plaza and surrounding streets.

The alcohol-free event will feature 30 food vendors and three music stages showcasing several genres, including rock, Latin alternative, indie pop and electronic. Performers include pop band Hunter Hunted, dance pop singer Gavin Turek and disc jockeys Chris Douridas, Rani De Leon and Louis Vivet.

Added this year are three art installations featuring a contemporary dance piece, a shadow puppet gallery and light displays showing New Year's-themed messages.

The night's entertainment and activities are organized by the same teams that put together Grand Park's year-round cultural events, the park's annual July 4th fireworks show and the Music Center's community arts programs.

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