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Carl Love: Why the annual New Year’s Eve grape drop is so Temecula

By in Press Enterprise on December 30, 2017

By Carl Love

There’s the loud countdown to the New Year, the big crowd, the excitement.

Yet it is grapes dropping – not a ball – that has excited thousands of locals, not the more famous millions of New Yorkers.

A bunch of grapes falls in 2015 during the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Temecula City Hall.

It was Melody Brunsting’s idea and she’s been promoting events in our area since 1989, so she knows how to publicize things.

Grapes are definitely a local attribute with our wine country. And, while a cynic might say we should have a traffic jam dropping to represent the growing congestion on the 15 Freeway, there’s a new year coming and we’re all trying to be positive, so stop it.

Nearly 5,000 are expected for the two drops at the Temecula Civic Center. Festivities start at 6 p.m. The first drop at 9 p.m. – also when those New Yorkers drop their ball on Eastern Standard Time – is geared toward families because, first and foremost, Temecula remains a family-friendly place.

The second drop at our midnight – 12 a.m. Temecula time – attracts more adults. With all the night life now happening in Old Town drawing more and more and more young people, that moment is only growing in popularity.

Check out the videos of celebrations past and you’ll see a gorgeous scene of masses gathered in front of the picturesque Civic Center watching the glowing grapes drop while ice skaters twirl in the background. On one you can hear a kid saying, “Happy New Year, Daddy.”

It’s really sweet.

Brunsting says her idea was hatched by the ice rink and she figured it was the perfect backdrop for a New Year’s Eve party.

Then there were the grapes, a signature symbol for Temecula. She said there’s the […]    

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