New Year’s Eve in southern California is weird. There’s no snow, no cold, nothing to signal that holidays exist. Nothing that gives us a heads-up like, hey, it’s winter. There’s a new year coming. Things are happening. But we work with what we’ve got, and it usually means happy hour, movies, and the Rose Parade. Not a bad alternative to the ball drop, if you ask me. Which, by the way, has been happening since 1907, because the city prohibited fireworks. It was decided, screw it, we’re just going to drop a giant ball and it’ll be awesome. Was this before the expression “dropped the ball” was invented? We literally start each year by dropping the ball. In any case, California doesn’t.
In the absence of a ball drop…
Top 10 California Ways to Go Into a New Year:
- Pull an all-nighter. Because you are waking up at 5 am to drive up to LA and go to the Rose Parade the next morning. Worth it.
- Go to the beach. Because that’s a good way to celebrate anything.
- Go to happy hour. Because happy hour.
- Watch the ball drop at New York on TV. Because it happens at 9 PM in California, and gives you a good excuse to not make it to midnight.
- Did I mention go to the beach? Seriously.
- Eat In-N-Out. Because it’s In-N-Out. And it’ll give your stomach a solid foundation of grease before the champagne hits.
- If you don’t go to the beach, at least go outside. Because you need to appreciate for five minutes the fact that it’s at least 60 degrees out.
- Play with sparklers. Because Instagram.
- Go snowboarding. Because Mammoth Mountain has THE best fireworks and live music (as in, a Beatles cover band) on New Year’s Eve, and you will probably run into Pink at your hotel like I did. Oh, and there’s snowboarding, too, you know…if you’re feeling up to it the next day.
- Make something up. Because a new year is about making up new rules as you go, and since we Californians don’t have snow, we’re better at improvising traditions than anyone else.
Cheers to a new year!