What you need to know to ring in 2019 safely in Austin


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Local music, local food and a lot of excitement for the new year: thousands of people geared up to ring in 2019 at Austin’s New Year at Vic Mathias Shores. 

The organizers said they expect about 20,000 people to attend the annual celebration. 

“All Austin focused. All local artists,” said Sylnovia Rabb, Interim Deputy Director of Austin’s Economic Development Department. “It’s family friendly. It’s locally sourced. Local talent, and we just want the families to enjoy.”

She said the South First Street bridge and parts of Cesar Chavez Avenue will close around 9 p.m. so pedestrians can watch the fireworks safely. 

The fireworks show is set to begin at 10 p.m. 

“We didn’t want to be out real late. We love the idea of music,” said Phyllis Chandler. Phyllis and her husband Bob Chandler were visiting Austin from Ohio. 

“We used to do something called First Night in Columbus, and it was New Year’s Eve, it was family friendly, they had local talent, we’ve done it 5 or 6 years maybe? They haven’t done it in a while, and this reminds me of an event like that, so yes, we’re really looking forward to it,” Phyllis Chandler said.

Others who planned on staying out later than 10 p.m. said they will be using rideshare services to get around. 

“Safety first, so I think we’re going to be doing Uber,” Omar Muniz said. 

Muniz said last year, “We were going to stay up until midnight to ring in 2018, but we fell asleep before it was even midnight.” So this year, he said, they’re trying to be “complete opposite. We’re planning to start off at Easy Tiger.”

“We’re excited,” Muniz said. “We’re looking to ring in the new year with health, a lot of positivity, a lot of grace, a lot of fun, excitement, spontaneity.”

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