The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

December 31, 2013

Revelers welcome 2014 with huge fireworks displays

CANBERRA, Australia — With fireworks, dancing and late-night revelry millions around the globe welcomed 2014 on Tuesday, gathering for huge displays of jubilation and unity as the new year was arriving across the world’s 24 main time zones.

In Australia, fireworks sprayed from the sails of the Sydney Opera House and the city’s harbor bridge at midnight. Revelers in Dubai awaited what was supposed to be the world’s largest fireworks show.

In Ukraine, anti-government protesters hoped to set their own record for the most people to sing a national anthem at the same time.

Revelers heading to New York City’s Times Square could expect the annual ball drop but no mayor this year. The new year was to be rung in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor instead.

Closer to the edge of the International Dateline, New Zealand bid farewell to 2013 with fireworks erupting from Auckland’s Sky Tower as cheering crowds danced in the streets of the South Pacific island nation’s largest city.

Known for glitz, glamor and over-the-top achievements like the world’s tallest tower, Dubai hoped to break another record by creating the largest fireworks show ever.

Organizers planned to light up the city’s coastline with a flying falcon made out of fireworks that would move across a massive man-made palm-shaped island alongside a countdown in fireworks. Organizers say they will also create a burst of light out of fireworks to imitate a sunrise and dazzle spectators with a United Arab Emirates flag that could also break records for being the largest ever made of fireworks.

The 6-minute extravaganza will include 500,000 fireworks from 400 firing locations, all synchronized by 100 computers from stations across the city, said Barrett Wissman, co-chairman of IMG Artists that is managing the event. Guinness World Record officials will be on hand to measure the scale of the event.

Wissman said the display will cover 30 miles (48 kilometers) of seafront. “It is really mind-blowing, the size of this,” he said.

In Sydney, organizers had expected to set off 7 metric tons (7.7 U.S. tons) of pyrotechnics in 12 seconds. The estimate appeared accurate.

“It filled up the whole sky,” said Mona Rucek, a 28-year-old tourist from Munich, Germany.

In Tokyo, five priests at the Zojoji temple used ropes to swing a wooden pole against a large bell, sounding the first of 108 gongs to mark the new year. Simultaneously, “2014” lit up in white lights on the modern Tokyo Tower in the background.

Both Japanese and tourists jammed the temple grounds for the traditional ceremony. Suburban resident Juji Muto said he was curious to hear how the bell sounded. At his age, the 75-year-old retiree said he wishes as every year for good health in the new year.

China planned light shows at part of the Great Wall near Beijing and at the Bund waterfront in Shanghai. The city of Wuhan in central Hubei province called off its fireworks show and banned fireworks downtown to avoid worsening its smog.

Pope Francis used his year-end prayer service of thanksgiving to urge people to ask themselves: Did they spend 2013 to further their own interests or to help others?

In his homily, the pontiff asked people to reflect if they used 2013 to make the places where they live more livable and welcoming. Citing Rome as an example, Francis said the city is full of tourists, but also refugees.

Britain planned to welcome 2014 with a mixture of futuristic fireworks, torch-lit tradition and worries about immigration.

The United Kingdom is only one day away from lifting restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria, a prospect which has many on the country’s right worried. Britain’s top-selling The Sun newspaper carried a startling feature quoting Romanian bus passengers en route to London as vowing to beg and steal their way across the country.

The right-leaning Daily Mail reported that planes and buses from Romania to the U.K. were “sold out” — a claim ridiculed by journalists who easily found cheap flights online.

For people already in London, the New Year will give them the opportunity to literally taste the fireworks.

The city’s mayor — in conjunction with telecommunications company Vodafone — said this year’s explosive display would come packed with peach-flavored snow, edible banana confetti and orange-scented bubbles, allowing people to feast with more than just their eyes. The multisensory display will also include scratch-and-sniff programs, LED wristbands and fruit-flavored sweets.

At Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, hundreds of thousands of people were starting to assemble for what organizers say is one of the world’s biggest outdoors New Year’s party, a traditional German gathering featuring jelly doughnuts and sparkling wine.

More than 260 people had been injured by firecracker blasts and celebratory gunfire in the Philippines ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Department of Health spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said he expected the number of injuries to rise sharply as Filipinos commemorate the end of a year marked by tragic disasters, including a Nov. 8 typhoon that left more than 6,100 dead and nearly 1,800 missing.

“Many here are welcoming the new year after losing their mothers, fathers, siblings and children so you can imagine how it feels,” said village chief Maria Rosario Bactol of Anibong community in Tacloban, the city worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan. “I tell them to face the reality, to move on and stand up, but I know it will never be easy.”

In Hong Kong, pyrotechnics were fired near the Kowloon peninsula and from the tops of seven skyscrapers. A British colonial-era canon was fired at midnight in a tradition dating from the end of World War II.

New Year’s celebrations in Indonesia were widespread except in the city of Banda Aceh where Islamic clerics prohibit Muslims from celebrating New Year’s Eve.

In New York City, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hobnobbed with celebrities during past Times Square celebrations, is sitting out this year’s festivities to spend time with family and friends. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will be sworn in at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at his Brooklyn home.

Sotomayor, a New York City native, will lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the descent of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball in front of an estimated 1 million celebrants.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website (www.westernunion.com) is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.