NYE Fun: Temecula Grape Drop

Embrace 2017 in wine country.

NOTABLE NEW BEGINNINGS: If you're the sort of person who likes a fresh start to arrive with something memorable, even a little zing, then you likely look for a lively way to kick off a new year. Oh, you might incorporate a glass of bubbly, or some fancy finger foods, but you're mainly seeking out a novel path into the next 365 days. There are many ways to find a fresh doorway into a fresh year, but one of the quirkiest, at least 'round the United States, is to seek out unusual midnight ball drops. For sure, the sparkly orb that descends in New York City's Times Square is the most famous, but places around the country do up the final minute of the year with oodles of local flair. And if you want to talk flair, you only need to look to Temecula, and wine country, to find an oh-so-regional New Year's Eve tradition. Nope, the vineyard-laden locale doesn't drop a ball, but a glittery bunch of grapes, when midnight arrives on Dec. 31. If you're a merlot maven, or you simply adore the pleasures of a day out among the vines, consider stopping by...

OLD TOWN TEMECULA CIVIC CENTER... on the final day of 2016. The enormous bunch of grapes will drop when the clock strike midnight, but there are other to-dos ahead of the big moment, like "unlimited kids games and activities" for a fiver. Tunes and other happenings will keep the evening moving in the direction of the countdown, or, rather, countdowns, as there'll be one at 9 p.m. and one when 12 chimes sounds out. Do you plan to do more wine-country-ing in 2017? Perhaps this is a capital way to show off that grape-tastic goal, all while checking off another "offbeat ball drop" on your travel-oriented bucket list.

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