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Ringing in the New Year

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Ringing in the New Year

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Dazzling fireworks lit up Australia’s Sydney Harbor, communist Vietnam held a rare, Western-style countdown to the New Year, and Japanese revelers released balloons carrying notes with people’s hopes and dreams as the world ushered in 2011.
In Europe, Greeks, Irish and Spaniards planned to party through the night to help put a year of economic woe behind them. In New York, nearly a million New Year’s Eve revelers are expected to cram into Times Square to watch the midnight ball drop.

New Zealanders and South Pacific island nations were among the first to celebrate at midnight. In New Zealand’s Auckland, explosions of red, gold and white burst over the Sky Tower, while tens of thousands danced and sang in the streets below.
Multicolored starbusts and gigantic sparklers lit the midnight sky over Sydney Harbor in a pyrotechnics show witnessed by 1.5 million spectators.
“This has got to be the best place to be in the world tonight,” said Marc Wilson, 41. (AP)