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Busy New Year’s Eve begins in Sacramento with smooth traffic and expensive parking

Children celebrate with bubbles as the countdown hits 12 p.m. during the “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration at the Crocker Art Museum on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.
Children celebrate with bubbles as the countdown hits 12 p.m. during the “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration at the Crocker Art Museum on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. aseng@sacbee.com

Traffic was moving smoothly around midday throughout downtown Sacramento as a busy New Year’s Eve got underway.

The Crocker Art Museum’s popular Noon Year’s Day event was expected to attract 4,500 visitors, about the crowd the museum hosted at last year’s event, museum director Lial Jones said. The free event provides a New Year’s-style countdown at noon for families.

“It’s a great way for families and kids who don’t want to stay up until midnight to celebrate,” Jones said.

As has been the case with other large events at the Crocker, there were some issues with parking around the downtown institution.

Many of the major parking facilities near the museum were charging a flat rate of $25 for a Sacramento Kings game slated to start at 2 p.m. just a few blocks away at Golden 1 Center. Street parking was somewhat scarce and two parking lots the Crocker rented out holding a total of 91 spaces were full.

Still, Jones said she was enthusiastic about the energy downtown.

“It’s the way it should be,” she said.

The only issue reported was a brief power outage on the northern side of downtown caused by Mylar balloons caught in a power line. SMUD said it restored power to the impacted area around 12:30 p.m.

“Power back downtown! Mylar balloons in the line...Keep those balloons under control! Happy New Year,” the company posted on Twitter.

The busy New Year’s continues with the afternoon Kings game and through a 9 p.m. fireworks show in Old Sacramento.

These tips from Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis provide key tips about what routes to take, where to park and what ride-share options you have if you are traveling by car for events at the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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