Holidays In San Antonio
1:58 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Planning Underway At Hemisfair Park For State's Largest Free New Year's Celebration

More than 250,000 people are expected to once again crowd Hemisfair Park and the surrounding area, including La Villita, for the bash. It's a special time of year, said Judi DeLeon, executive director for the San Antonio Parks Foundation.

"This is a tradition," DeLeon said. "The carnival is here, it's a safe setting. We're right in the middle of downtown. SAPD will be all around us and we've got great food, great music."

A special guest was invited to be a part of the festivities, according to DeLeon, but Texas singer/songwriter Willie Nelson wasn't available.

"Willie graciously declined. Our budget didn't seem to appeal to him," DeLeon said jokingly." No, actually, he was not available."

But a party it will be, even without Willie, said DeLeon, who noted that the vibe of celebrating New Year's in San Antonio can't be beat.

"If you've never been here, it's, I have to says, it's a different feeling from any other event," she said.

One other thing that'll be a bit different is there will be no elevator "countdown," from the Tower of the Americas. In the past, the elevator would climb the tower in a reverse-ball-drop fashion. DeLeon said it was too expensive to rig up and launch, and that many people within Hemisfair Park would miss it because the trees are in the way.

But that shouldn't bring the party down, she said.

"Everyone comes together in one mind and one spirit, and it's just great, it really is," she said.