East Bay rings in the New Year with a variety of events and fundraisers

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- San Francisco is often the big draw for folks on New Year's Eve, but there were several big events in the East Bay as well.

It was a flashback to the 1930s ahead of ringing in the New Year aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda.

Their 1930s-themed big bash brought out hundreds for a night of dancing, music and costumes from that era. The gala is a fundraiser for the museum's education department.

"The 30s were a really great era. I love the whole theme, I love dressing up," says Breahna Berry of Union City, who wore a headband and dress to match the theme. "It's been super upbeat, super fun. We have had a lot of fun dancing, we went up to the flight deck. It was great."

At the Oakland Buddhist Church, it was a more somber new year's tradition.

Dozens gathered for a ceremony to ring the temple's bell. In some Buddhist traditions, it's believed to release humans of their 108 passions, such as greed or anger. Some say it's also to reminder for all people to overcome that which is within us.

"It's this release, but it is also something that resonates internally with people, in general with the people who are here, but then as the reverend mentioned with all beings," says Funie Hsu of El Sobrante.

In Berkeley, the night started off much earlier at the Bay Area Children's Theater, with food and games for families and kids. They had an early New Year's Eve countdown at 9:00 p.m.

Janet Walker of Oakland says the fundraiser for the theater is becoming a family tradition.

"It's a great kid-friendly way for you to get out and celebrate the new year with your kids, and I think there's not a lot of places to do that, and this is definitely one of those places."
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