Austin plans a bigger New Year's Party but still no midnight countdown

The nearly two dozen performers will help Austin say good-bye to 2016 later this month. Organizers of Austin’s New Year 2017, Friday morning, said the  December 31st  event will still be held on Vic Mathias Shores in south Austin.

"The celebration this year is going to be unique, it’s going to be a lot of artwork, and food trucks throughout the whole complex,” said Kevin Johns
with the Austin Economic Development Office.

The yearend party is geared toward families. There's no alcohol, but at 10:00pm there will be fireworks. The show will run 30 minutes with the downtown skyline serving as a backdrop. After that -- the party will be over-- there will be no countdown because it all wraps up well before midnight.

"And we want to do the fireworks at 10, so the families with kids can enjoy fireworks, 'cause a lot of times the kids are not up at mid-night and they are not able to see it, so this is a way for the whole family to be able to enjoy the whole show and the fireworks and get the kids back home before the early morning hours,” said Special Events Program Manager Bill Manno.

Austin has had mixed results with its year end celebrations. There was the First Night, which essentially was a small parade, and then about 8 years ago, the main feature was a giant wooden clock tower.The tower was set on fire after resolutions were written on it. As the flames consumed the structure hot embers floated into the air and into crowd; which had gotten a little too close.  Organizers promise no more giant bonfires but say they are still looking for something that can make the event uniquely Austin.

"Well we are getting it right, I think we are real close, I think we are there as far as just a fun event, you can come out enjoy no pressure. Just have a lot of fun,” said Manno.

The New Year’s celebration is free and pets are allowed. Owners are asked to keep their dogs on leashes because of the fireworks. To learn more, click here

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