Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / Rivard Report
The Tricentennial’s Celebrate 300 New Year’s Eve Party begins Sunday afternoon and continues into New Year’s Day with musical performances, ferris wheel rides, and other activities, including a fireworks show over Hemisfair at midnight.
Planners say the event will go on rain or shine, but request visitors to prepare for brisk weather conditions.
“To ensure that Celebrate 300 is a an enjoyable experience, everyone should personally prepare for cold and potentially wet weather by wearing the proper outerwear and footwear,” said Carlos Contreras, interim executive director of the Tricentennial Commission.
Access Points and Security
Visitors may begin entering the fairgrounds free of charge at 4 p.m. Entrance to Hemisfair will be limited to four access points at East Market Street, the intersection of Alamo and Market streets, the intersection of Alamo and Nueva streets, and Nueva Street northeast of Yanaguana Garden.
All attendees will be subject to security screenings and bag checks at the four entrance points. Weapons, fireworks, bicycles, chairs, ice chests and coolers, oversized bags, glass containers, drones, animals (other than service animals), outside food, beverages, and alcohol will not be allowed inside the event. Attendees with clear bags, or no bags, will have expedited entrance to the fairgrounds.
Due to downtown road closures and increased pedestrian traffic, Tricentennial officials recommend utilizing public transit, rideshare, or taxis to get to Hemisfair. VIA Metropolitan Transit is offering park and ride services, and there are designated areas for rideshare and taxi pick up and drop off points. For details on where those services are located, click here.
All City-owned parking lots and garages downtown will be $5 starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 31, and parking at the Alamodome will be free. For a full list of City parking, click here.
Alamo Street from César E. Chávez Boulevard to Market Street will be closed from 6 a.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. Market Street from Presa to Bowie will be closed from 3 p.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday. A portion of the southbound access road to Interstate 37 near César E. Chávez Boulevard and a portion of César E. Chávez Boulevard will be closed between 11:30 p.m. and 12:45 a.m. for fall out from the midnight fireworks show.
Once inside the fenced-off event space, visitors will find food and beverage booths along Alamo Street starting at 4 p.m, with other vendors selling Tricentennial and band merchandise. A ferris wheel will also be set up on Alamo Street.
The event’s musical headliners will play on the east stage: Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo are scheduled to go on at 9 p.m., followed by REO Speedwagon at 10:45 p.m. Fireworks begin at midnight with a countdown led by Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
Other scheduled activities include remarks by elected officials, movie screenings, and other musical performances. Musical acts scheduled for the west stage are: Sam Riggs at 4:15 p.m., BillyRay Sheppard at 5:05 p.m., and Flaco Jimenez Y Su Conjunto at 6 p.m. Performances on the east stage begin at 6:35 p.m. with Little Joe Y La Familia, followed by the Last Bandoleros at 7:45 p.m.
There will be movie screenings throughout the event at the Yanaguana Garden outdoor theater and performances at the Magik Theatre. Screenings begin at the Yanaguana theater at 6 p.m. with Home Alone, followed by Big at 8 p.m., and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 10:15 p.m. Plays at the Magik Theatre begin at 6:30 p.m. with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
VIP ticket holders will have access to additional dining options in the tented lounge area beginning at 6 p.m. Those tickets also include an up-close viewing area for the featured bands. Three beverage tickets and a pair of the official commemorative 300 eyeglasses come with that purchase, which can be made here.