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Countdown to $3m new year
By Miawling Lam

December 31, 2006 12:00 (来源:老牌的英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

SYDNEY will usher in 2007 tonight with a $3 million-plus fireworks extravaganza that for the first time will feature an interactive theme for children.

New Year's Eve

Organisers expect more than a million revellers to flock to vantage points around the harbour for the 9pm and midnight shows. The celebration's focus will be A Diamond Night in Emerald City.

Tonight's event will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and draw on the children's classic, The Wizard Of Oz.

New Year's Eve creative director Wayne Harrison said the displays would outshine previous attempts and showcase new effects, including a 100m wide feature with more than 1000 shimmering lights on the Harbour Bridge.

"It's the anniversary, so we wanted to make more of a fuss of the bridge and pay tribute to it,'' Mr Harrison said.

"Having particular focus on it encouraged us to go bigger and better,'' he said.

About 100,000 pyrotechnic devices will be launched from a total of 11 barges, several more than last year.

The early fireworks will feature a unique interactive component. At 9.08pm, children will be invited to click their heels together three times when ruby-red slippers, like those worn by Dorothy in the movie, are projected onto bridge pylons.

"For us, it's not necessarily about being bigger and better,'' Mr Harrison said.

"It's about re-engaging people so they don't become immune to the magnificence of the fireworks.''
Alastair Walton, director of community engagement at City of Sydney council, echoed this view, saying he hoped the fireworks would help Sydney retain its reputation as the place to be.

"It captures Sydney at its most beautiful,'' he said.

"More than a million people will be having a good time. Not many places around the world can do that.

"We know how to put on a good show - and we know how to enjoy ourselves.''

About 32 million text messages of goodwill are expected to be sent across Australia tonight, up six million more than last year.

Telstra has boosted its network capacity to cope with the volume.

The number of traditional voice calls throughout the nation is also expected to peak at 22 million.

The countdown to tonight's 13-minute midnight spectacle will start at 1pm. There will events around the city on the hour every hour starting with the firing of the Fort Denison cannon, followed by several fly-overs.

At 6pm, three giant question marks will appear in the sky. A Harbour of Light Parade will begin at 9.15pm. It will feature 50 illuminated boats with diamond emblems glittering on their hulls or masts.

Mini light shows on the Harbour Bridge will be held at 10pm and 11pm as revellers await the final hour to midnight in what is tipped to be the biggest fireworks show in the world, drawing larger crowds than in New York, London, Paris or Berlin.

Parramatta, Rockdale, Campbelltown and Waverley have organised their own celebrations. There will be carnival rides, live entertainment, food stalls and fireworks.

Parramatta's Prince Alfred Park will play host to one of the biggest suburban New Year's Eve celebrations. Children's entertainment will start at 6pm, followed by live music and a spectacular fireworks display at 9.30pm.

Elsewhere around the state, family-friendly celebrations will be held in centres such as Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Wagga Wagga and Taree. At Coffs Harbour, there will be a skydiving and fireworks display.

Gosford's celebrations will start at midday at the local racecourse before moving to the waterfront in the evening, where a fireworks display will be held at 9pm.

 
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