The Santa Monica Pier was built in 1916 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The sign is a beautiful, 3D blue and white nautical dream spanning the entrance. The sign was erected in 1940. The sea birds seem to like it too.
Santa Monica Beach is a New Year's tradition for some people. It's fun to watch Polar Bear Club aspirants diving into the waves, with a few popping up out of the water screaming at the cold. There's a great bar right next to the pier where you might catch the Rose Parade on TV too. The carousel on the pier was built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The carousel is a functioning work of art with beautiful wood horses and is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is described on the National Carousel Association's website. Scuttlebutt around the Park says it has been studied by the Disney Imagineers for inspiration.
The newest attraction at the pier is the renovated Ferris Wheel. It has been updated with solar powered LED lights and a new light system. Read more about the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel here.
Here' a great Santa Monica History of the Pier link for you.
And just in case you're interested, here's the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bear Club
Other Odd New Years News From Los Angeles:
The LA County Sheriff's Department's Gifts for Guns Program has had their best year ever.
Kobe Bryant has been seen in TV spots asking people not to fire off their weaponry this New Years Eve as part of the LAPD Gun Fire Suppression Program.
Other Fun Things To Do In LA During New Years:
More Santa Monica Beach: You can go ice skating at the beach until January 19. Find out more and see their New Year's Eve events here: http://www.santamonica.com/events-calendar/
This New Year there will be fireworks at Universal Citywalk and Marina Del Rey. Read the whole LA Times list of cool New Year events going on in LA here…