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Police prepare for crowds to ring in the new year in Old Sacramento

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OLD SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- It was hours before any clock would strike 12 but Old Sacramento was already filling up with people celebrating New Year's Eve in their own way.

Sacramento police spent the day setting up and getting barricades ready to safely guide dense crowds through the night of fireworks and free-flowing spirits.

There will not be any bag checks or security scanning but patrols on foot, horseback and bike will get even more visible as midnight draws nearer.

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership said the success of its end-of-the-year party is built on the trust visitors have that they can watch the attractions and not their backs.

"This is really the biggest celebration in the Sacramento region tonight, Old Sacramento Waterfront,” said Old Sacramento Waterfront District Operations Manager Scott Ford. “Huge fireworks show at 9 p.m. We're gonna have close to 7,000 fireworks going off all along the riverfront and actually cascading down from the Tower Bridge itself. We've got live music starting at 6 p.m."

Some of the 30,000 to 40,000 people expected in Old Sacramento will be leaving from and returning to Elk Grove.

Pre-gaming traditions involving alcohol and return trips home after drinks out mean that even without a DUI checkpoint, smaller towns have a lot to watch out for.

"We may not be hosting one of the larger New Year's Eve parties like the other cities surrounding us but there are multiple parties that are occurring at residences all around the city. There will also be people in Elk Grove that will attend some of those larger festivals,” said Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez. “And so, what we're asking is that simply be smart. If you're going to drink and do other things that will cause you to be impaired, then find another way to get home. There are just too many resources and ride-share options nowadays days that there's just no excuse."

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