Thousands flock to San Francisco's waterfront to ring in 2020
SAN FRANCISCO - As the Ferry Building clock counted down the hours until the new year, crowds of people began arriving in San Francisco for New Year's Eve celebrations, with some 100 events scheduled in the city including the big midnight fireworks show.
Buses were packed with passengers. Locals and tourists from all over the world mingled along the Embarcadero.
Emilio Rocha, a tourist from Mexico was there with a group of fourteen family members.
"I'm very excited. It's a different custom than we are used to and it's a good experience," said Rocha.
Crews worked to put 1,800 crowd control barriers along the Embarcadero and Broadway.
Hotels and restaurants filled up, welcoming guests with special menus and stunning views.
Pyrotechnic crews spent days setting up the fireworks display on two barges that will be out in the bay near Pier 14.
San Francisco police and park rangers increased patrols throughout the area. .
"In the high traffic areas we will have officers hidden away if you will. In positions where they can observe the crowd and be alert for any potential problems before they happen," said Sgt. Mike Andraychak, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman.
"Exciting for the new year coming and to celebrate it's been a great year and hopefully 2020 will be too," said Brittany Schroeder of Walnut Creek, who bought a light-up balloon.
Those vendors and business owners hoping for a prosperous strat to 2020 were grateful for the clear skies and unusually mild weather.
"I'm psyched. There's lots of people out. Everybody's having a good time. It should be a good year," said Colin Sanders, a pedicab operator.
Marlin Krause and his brother Canyon Krause, two eight-year-olds from Los Angeles came to San Francisco with their father.
"We're going to a concert. What Concert? Um, I don't know," said Marlin. His father noted it was a Grateful Dead concert.
"I've got two hats," said Canyon, prepared for the cold.
Some people sported New Year's glasses, showing off teir 2020 vision.
People said they're looking forward to getting a fresh start.
"A little R&R it's been a hectic holiday season," said Janene Ostrow of San Francisco who was skating with her husband and daughter at the Embarcadero holiday rink.
"Like my wife I want to win bicycle races. And have a prosperous, healthy New Year of course," said Scott Wilson of San Francisco
"Safe, Healthy, 18. I made it"" said Zeyonce Brown of Milpitas who came with her friends.
"Just thankful that my kids are healthy, growing and just planning to prosper in the future," said Ira Manansala of Vallejo.
For one man, New Year's day is particularly special.
"It's cool, I get to come out here, watch the fireworks and everybody counts down for me, you know. For my birthday yep," said J.R. Aguilar of Vallejo.
One small boy from Los Angeles saying it all.
"A Happy New Year!" he said.