Bay Area celebrates New Year

Thousands lined up along the Embarcadero to enjoy the fireworks over the Bay. The midnight fireworks show south of the Ferry Building always draws a crowd. Traffic advisories are already posted -- drivers should expect delays from 11 p.m. New Year's Eve through 1 a.m. New Year's morning.

Some activities during the day include the annual ringing of Japanese 16th century bronze bell at the Asian Art Museum. The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is rated by TripAdvisor as one of the greatest New Year's Eve events in the country.

The New Year also comes early at a children's event in Oakland. The Chabot Space and Science Center on Skyline Boulevard in the Oakland Hills will be celebrating the New Year with a balloon drop each time the New Year hits a different time zone around the world. The fun starts at 11 a.m.

There will also be plenty of hotels to help you ring in the New Year, including the Fairmont Hotel, which will cost upwards of $429 a person. Tony Bennett's daughter is scheduled to perform at the hotel.

"The Fairmont San Francisco has been such an integral part of our social fabric in the city for so many years and if you want to come and celebrate in style there is no better place to do it," said Chad Blunston, Fairmont San Francisco.

Local transit agencies are making it easier to not drive on New Year's Eve. Muni is offering free rides from 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. tomorrow. The free rides include all Muni routes, even cable cars. Caltrain is extending its hours with the final New Year's train departing from the King Street station at 2:15 a.m. on New Year's Day. And BART will provide additional service until approximately 3 a.m.

To help everyone stay safe this New Year's Eve, AAA is once again offering free tows and a ride for any driver who's had too much to drink. They're available to anyone throughout the Bay Area, from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. tomorrow for a tow of up to ten miles. The number to call is 1-800 AAA HELP. Reservations are not accepted.

You can expect to see an increase police presence on Bay Area roadways in an effort to crack down on drunk driving during the New Year's holiday. DUI checkpoints will be in place tonight in some cities and continuing through New Year's Day.

And if you don't want to leave home, tune in to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve hosted by Ryan Seacrest tonight on ABC7.

If you're still looking for something to do New Year's Eve, check out our comprehensive list of fireworks shows and events --> http://abc7ne.ws/18p3xPI

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