IN PICTURES: 2020 comes into sight early at Waterfront Amphitheater spectacular

Laura Spoutz gave a kiss to Mike Bird to celebrate the first New Year’s Eve for their 1-month-old daughter, Luna Bird.

Meanwhile, a few yards away, Ronda Golden gave a smooch to her husband Michael to celebrate the 54th anniversary of their wedding engagement.

“He got my father’s permission first,” Ronda said. “But I think he would have popped the question even if dad said no.”

Laura Spoutz and Mike Bird celebrate New Year’s Eve with their 1-month-old baby, Luna Bird. Not far away, Ronda Golden gives her husband Michael a smooch to celebrate their 54th anniversary. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

The couples were among the more than 2,000 people who crowded into Long Beach’s Waterfront Amphitheater to ring in 2020 on Tuesday evening.

Guests posed with sets of large mylar balloons in the shape of 2020. Although, the wind often twisted the digits to spell out SOSO. Some balloons popped during the evening to spell out OSO (the Spanish word for bear).

These girls hope that 2020 will be more than “so-so.” From left are Georgina Francis, Leila Fogel, Jasmine Lloyd and Rosie Lloyd. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

The lively evening featured music by Phygg, DJ Joey C, and Two Towns Entertainment. A juggler, hula hoop artist and women on stilts provided a circus atmosphere.

At 9 p.m., Long Beach got a head start on the new year by setting off fireworks over the bay at midnight East Coast time.

A crowd of more than 2,000 people attended the New Year’s Eve celebration in the Waterfront Amphitheater in Long Beach on Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A child dozed during the fireworks at the New Year’s Eve celebration. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Fireworks ended the evening. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A group of children dance in the lights. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A woman takes a rest while attending the festivities. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Phygg performed at a New Year’s Eve celebration in the Waterfront Amphitheater. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

The Queen Mary is a backdrop for this juggler. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Zachary Gallegos dances. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A young girl reacts to the 9 p.m. fireworks. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Rodger Watkins and Noelle Sadgdo danced at New Year’s Eve celebration. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A group known as Circus Joy performed at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Zutara, the Hoop Magician, performed at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

A woman poses with “2020” balloons. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

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Bill Alkofer, a contributing photographer for the Long Beach Post, has been shooting pictures professionally for 38 years, including stints at the Orange County Register, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Daily News. If you see him out shooting photos, ask him why—and settle in for a very long and thorough answer.
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