City leaders announce lineup for New Year's Eve celebration

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 27 at 7:01 PM

AUSTIN -- City leaders unveiled plans for A.N.Y. (Austin's New Year) celebration Thursday at City Hall. 

Russian folk band The Flying Balalaika Brothers gave attendees a sneak peak of their performance, as did dancers from the Austin Chinese Arts Association. 

To usher in 2013, Auditorium Shores will be transformed into a festival with three live music stages, a short film screening area, catapult, interactive lights shows and of course, fireworks.

"We encourage the community to bring out their lawn chairs and blankets and ring in the New Year in, Austin style," said Laura Esparza of Austin Parks & Recreation. 

A.N.Y. will kick off at 5 p.m. on December 31st.

Getting to the family-friendly event should be pretty easy. Capital Metro will offer free rides to and from downtown from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. Austin Police Department is helping to pay for the service.

"New Year's Eve, a lot of folks decide to go out and they make bad choices, they drink and drive and so this is your warning," said Police Chief Art Acevedo. "There is no excuse. If you get caught drunk driving, you will be arrested and you will face the full prosecution of the law. And if you don't submit to a breath test, we will take your blood under the no refusal initiative."

Officers will also have a zero tolerance policy for people shooting off fireworks and guns.

"You cannot discharge firearms at the stroke of midnight. It is illegal. If you're caught discharging a firearm you will face criminal charges. And most importantly, whatever you shoot up into the air, must come down," Acevedo said. 

"It is illegal to posses and to use fireworks in the city of Austin," echoed Assistant Fire Chief Matt Orta. "I want to encourage everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals."

Those "professionals" will light the skies over Auditorium Shores at 10 p.m.

The city's hope is that families will take advantage of the event and come together to ring in 2013.

"It's only when we come together at events like this that we show that appreciation for each other," said Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole. 

A.N.Y. is free and because it is family-friendly, it will also be alcohol free. There will vendors and even some Austin mobile food trailers on site selling other food and drinks.

Click here for more information on A.N.Y.

Click here for more information on Capital Metro's free New Year's Eve bus and rail schedule

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