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5 Things to Know in Murrieta: Dec. 31

Happy New Year's Eve! Here are some things to do today in southwest Riverside County.

1. The beginning to the week will be brighter, according to the National Weather Service. Today expect mostly sunny skies with a high around 55. Tonight, expect mostly clear clear skies and a low of 33.

2. Ring in the New Year twice at the Temecula Grape Drop tonight. The event will be celebrating the arrival of 2013 on both the East and West coast times zones, with the first celebration at 9 p.m. and the second at midnight. The Temecula Grape Drop will feature live music from “Silver Beatles,” “Valley Winds,” “Safety Orange” and “The Bash Band.” In addition to the live tunes, there will be bounce houses, balloon animals, a magician and face painting for kids. The ice rink will also be open until 1:30 a.m. For more information, click here.

3. Today join Pole Position in Murrieta for day camp. This special event is part driving clinic, part personalized instruction and part racing, but it’s all fun. Space is still available for today’s camp--just show up. Open to all 17 and younger, camp admission is $89 per person. For more information, click here. Read our business profile on Pole Position Raceway to find out more about how it got its start in Murrieta and has spread to six locations nationwide.

4. The third annual Wild Wild West BBQ Championship will be held in Lake Elsinore today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Formerly held at Knotts Berry Farm, this year’s event will be held at La Laguna Resort and Boat Launch, 32040 Riverside Drive, Lake Elsinore. There will be barbecue tastings, carnival style food fare, vendors, jumpers for the kids at no charge, live music, and beer and wine garden. For the serious barbecue afficionados this is a "Pitmaster" type KCBS "Kansas City BBQ Society" sanctioned event with more than $17,500 in prize money and some of the best teams from accross the country taking part in it. As of publication, teams were coming from Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, as well as Arizona, Northern and Southern California and other places. Admission is $5 per person and repeats tomorrow. All proceeds go toward the Rotary Club of Wildomar.

5.  For those who prefer to be indoors, celebrate the new year at the Temecula Stampede. Admission is $20 per person and includes dinner until 8 p.m. (or until supplies lasts), party favors and a midnight toast. Doors open at 6 p.m. to those 18 years of age and older.

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