Story and photo by Ricky Richardson
*Los Angeles- Los Angeles County Officials, Urban Planners and other stakeholders have made Downtown Los Angeles a fun, exciting area to live, work and play.
Thanks to officials at Grand Park, we can now add party to the mix. More than ten thousand revelers celebrated New Year’s Eve during the inaugural Grand Park New Year’s Eve Celebration.
Tuesday, December 31st (for those who didn’t know) was a spectacular night to be in Grand Park. The celebration featured many interactive events geared toward the entire family. There was no reason to stand back watching as the fun takes place. Grand Park New Year’s Eve Celebration was set up to engage revelers.
Several roving performing artists thrilled revelers. Guests were able to take a photo in the interactive photo booth followed by their New Years wishes projected 100 feet above Grand Park. If that wasn’t enough, we all gazed in awe at the specially commissioned highly innovative art installations.
Co-host Azul 213* Amaral and KIIS FM’s Sisanie welcomed the lively crowd gathered in Grand Park on this beautiful Southern California night. DJ Seano (dublab) provided an eclective soundtrack to kick off the live entertainment. The lyrics to Charles Wright’s Do Your Thang came to mind, as revelers watched the performances or busted out in some impromptu dance moves.
Vocal duo Myron & E came prepared to throw down with some throw back sounds of Soul and R&B. The crowd were swaying and bopping in time to the soul stirring grooves shared by this dynamic duo on the tunes- “It’s a Shame,” “Dangerous,” “Broadway,” “If I Gave You My Love,” “Do It Disco,” “Behind Closed Doors,” “Can’t Let You Get Away and closed their set with “Cold Game” from their debut CD Turn Back Broadway on the Stones Throw Records Label.
Versa-Style Dance Company dazzled revelers with a splendid program of hip-hop, and Afro-Latin dances. Their creativity was on full display as we headed to the East Coast Countdown (New York Times Square Ball Drop) for the New Year. This was a wonderful, memorable way to end the evening for families with little childrens. They can truly say that they were able to celebrate New Years Eve in style.
The party heated up a notch courtesy of Buyepongo. They ignited the festivities as they thoroughly entertained and engaged the crowd with the contagious sounds of Cumbia and other fiery hot Latin rhythms.
The program continued with a set by DJ Daedelus in the spotlight as well as a strong, solid performance by Fool’s Collective. Los Angeles City Hall served as the perfect canvas for the 2-D and 3-D projections to usher in 2014.
“Much like we experienced with the 2013 Presidential Election Day and the Fourth of July, ‘Grand Park’s N.Y.E. LA’s offered a place and a platform Angelenos seem earger for, where they can come together for public gatherings to mark major moments in time,” said Stephen D. Roundtree, President & CEO, The Music Center, the organization that programs and operates Grand Park.
“Grand Park’s N.Y.E. LA’ not only united many members of our diverse communities as they shared the excitement of ringing in a new year, but provided them an opportunity to celebrate the creativity and talents that are distinctly Los Angeles,” stated Lucas Rivera, Director, Grand Park. We were delighted to see so many call Grand Park ‘home’ for the New Year.”
Grand Park is a vibrant outdoor gathering place. Grand Park is a beautiful public park for the entire community in Los Angeles County. With expansive green space for gatherings large and small, Grand Park celebrates the county’s cultural vitality and is host to community events, cultural experiences, holiday celebrations, and many other activities that engage and attract visitors from all communities. The 12-acre Grand Park stretches from The Music Center on the west to City Hall on the east, and is easily accessible by Metro via the Red/Purple line to the Civic Center/Grand Park Station. Grand Park’s transformation is a credit to the leadership of Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Grand Avenue Committee, established to create and implement the vision for Grand Park and commercial developments on Grand Avenue. Working closely with the county, The Music Center is responsible for all operations and programming for the park
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via” [email protected]