I must confess the city of Sacramento is a place that entered relatively late into my consciousness - I had heard the name of course, but couldn't point to it on a map or tell you anything about it. That has all changed over the last few years, and I'm quite sure I won't be the only person who now totally associates the place with The Mentalist TV show, which is a big favourite in our household!
In fact Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, which did surprise me, and has a population of around half a million. This makes for some big crowds come new year's eve and I'm pleased to see the city takes it's responsibilities seriously, with a decent range of publicly funded entertainment to mark the occasion, as well as a huge selection of private parties in the town's many clubs, hotels and restaurants.
Sacramento hosts a free new year's eve party for it's citizens, including a main stage with live music and entertainment, children's entertainment, street artists plus of course the ubiquitous food and drinks stalls.
The whole event kicks off from around 6pm. A lot of the city's roads are closed due to the NYE events, but public transport times are extended so I would recommend using that if you can.
Then of course you have the fireworks, officially titled the New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular they take place in 2 sections, the family friendly 9pm show followed by the main display at midnight, which is billed as a Sky Concert, with the fireworks being set to classical music for added dramatic effect. There are some fireworks launched from land, but the majority will be from the city's iconic Tower Bridge, so when you're looking for a decent vantage point make sure you can see that!
Away from the main event, the city's clubs and bars will of course be getting in on the act with a range of parties to take you into the small hours. One big event is at the Splash Nightclub downtown, where they'll be holding their annual party. Ticket details to follow.
If you're looking for somewhere to eat out before you head off to your chosen party then you'll be spoiled for choice in Sacramento, with all popular cuisines more than catered for. Top venues include The Kitchen, Tako Korean BBQ, Seasons 52, Carpe Vino and The Firehouse. Check out all the local restaurants online here.
Places to watch live online - there are a number of webcams in the area, including a pretty decent city skyline view:
The music from the midnight fireworks show is also simulcast on local radio station 96.9 The Eagle.
If you're planning on visiting Sacramento over the New Year period, then making you hotel booking as soon as possible will save you a lot of time and probably money, plus reduces the risk of missing out completely! You can search, check availability and book local hotels here.
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