Big crowds expected at tonight's New Year's Eve party in Grand Park

People planning to attend Grand Park New Year's Eve event are urged to take public transportation

Organizers are preparing for big crowds to descend on the Civic Center in downtown L.A. tonight for the second annual free New Year's Eve celebration at Grand Park.

A chilly storm that hit Los Angeles on Tuesday moved out early today, setting the stage for a clear but cold night of music on three stages and a spectacular light show projected on 22 stories of City Hall.

Gates open at 7 p.m. and the event ends at 12:30 p.m.

Grand Park spokeswoman Bonnie Goodman estimated that 30,000 would come to the 12-acre public space despite temperatures that are expected to plunge to near freezing by the stroke of midnight.

Angelenos are hungry for an urban experience where they can celebrate together, Goodman said.

"It was a beautiful day in the park and we're expecting a great turnout tonight,'' she said.

A dozen live acts and DJs will perform in a range of styles, including electronica, soul and rock, and about 30 food booths will be on hand. The gala is three times the size of last year's inaugural event, taking up the park as well as adjacent city streets.

Leading up to the countdown at midnight, revelers will see a light show projected on City Hall through digital mapping, as well as a 10-minute visual narrative about life in Los Angeles. The light show is produced by Garson Yu and his team at yU+co, a Los Angeles company that creates digital installations around the globe.

Organizers are urging attendees to take public transportation to avoid traffic and parking hassles. Metro is running all-night service on New Year's Eve on the Red, Purple, Blue, Expo, Green, Gold, Orange and Silver lines in addition to bus lines that normally operate late-night service.

To accommodate both Grand Park and Rose Parade fans, the Gold Line will have longer trains and run more frequently. 

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