Austin
3:08 pm
Sat December 31, 2011

City Welcomes 2012 at Auditorium Shores Tonight

Austin styled music, film screenings, hula-hooping performers and, of course, fireworks – that’s what the city is offering tonight.

Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole revealed details in a Wednesday news conference of the city's Austin' New Year's party to ring in 2012. 

"It's important that you come out and enjoy and meet your neighbors, your friends -- the people from all over the city," said Cole. She pitched the event as a sober, family-fun and artsy alternative to wild festivities you'll find on Sixth and Fourth Street this weekend.

The party begins at 5 p. m. at Auditorium Shores with music performances, a few film screenings, and the eye-popping performance of Discovery Circus whose members can twist themselves into pretzels and hula hoop the night away. The evening wraps up early. A fireworks finale will cap the party at 10 p. m. Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr was sure to remind everyone that fireworks are not allowed within the city limits. 

"Even though we have had some rain, we are still in drought conditions and a burn ban is actually in effect within the city at all times and that has not been lifted and there are no exceptions to that," Kerr said.

This year, Capital Metro is offering its Night Owl Service for free tonight. The routes will begin at midnight and run till 3 a.m. The city is encouraging people to use some sort of alternative transportation to night. Some streets will be closed for NYE events, parking meter hours have changed. Another change is that there will be no free rides from the non-profit, Sober Ride. This message was emailed to KUT News Wednesday by Sober Ride president Lindsey Bradley: 

Sober Ride  was one of the many programs recently affected by the new IRS policies for small not-for-profit organizations, which called upon us to file previously-unrequired returns from years of operation. We have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to resolve this issue and are awaiting the final go-ahead from the government.

Make your plans early. If you're still grappling with what to do tonight, our friends at Culture Map have a few suggestions. Wherever you countdown to 2012, make it a safe one.