Whooping it up around the country

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The Independent Online

The Millennium Dome in Greenwich may be host to the most publicised New Year's Eve party, but there will be plenty of celebrating going on around the rest of the country.

The Millennium Dome in Greenwich may be host to the most publicised New Year's Eve party, but there will be plenty of celebrating going on around the rest of the country.

In Edinburgh, home of the hogmanay party, events will include an outdoor concert in West Princes Street Gardens and a "home-grown street theatre spectacular" under a 60ft-high millennium clock.

Manchester has designated the evening "Coming Home" and will light up the city with fireworks, live music and street theatre. A Millennium Bug party for families will run from midday to 5pm after which the children can go home to bed and adults can go to Granada Studios for a 13-hour rave from 7pm to 8am.

Newcastle is holding a Countdown 2000 party in the city centre with more street theatre, giant helium balloons and a lantern procession by the city's children. The evening will be rounded off with fireworks on the quayside.

Absolute Millennium in Leeds will offer special lights across the city and a music concert in the city hall, and Belfast is holding a funfair, "jazz and foodfest", lights parade with ice skating and live entertainment. A street in the cathedral quarter will be used to stage 18th-century re-enactments.

The party in Coventry will be free for everyone as the organisers have secured funding from the city council and grants from the regional Millennium Celebrations Fund and the European Union totalling £275,000.

Performers from as far afield as Brazil, Tanzania and Hungary will join the live bands, jugglers, acrobats and even bell ringers helping to welcome the 21st century and giant video screens will be set up to exchange messages of goodwill with Coventry's 26 twin towns.

In Norwich, a festival of lights with illuminations created by local artists will link the castle with the city hall. Lasers from four churches will form a giant cross in the sky and there will be two domes, one to make science entertaining and another featuring information on communications technology and youth culture. Two thousand candles will be floated down the river.

But spare a thought for the poor burghers of Penzance - they will have to wait until next June for their party. The town council has organised a series of events throughout the year but has decided to wait until the Golowan Festival next June for a big firework display and street party.

The Dome timetable on New Year's Eve

7pm: Guests will be given champagne and canapes and time to explore the 14 zones. The 10,000 present will include 2,500 "ordinary" people, 3,000 sponsors, and 700 dignitaries.

10pm: Tony Blair and his family will arrive. The Queen will travel down the Thames on the Millennium of Peace. As the Queen crosses the meridian line there will be a 21-gun salute from HMS Westminster.

11pm: Pictures of the Millennium dawn breaking in Northern Europe will be broadcast on giant screens and the Archbishop of Canterbury will read the Lord's Prayer. There will be a orchestral concert directed by Paul Daniel, a choir of 400, and Jools Holland.

11.45pm: The Queen will officially open the Dome, setting in motion an "awe-inspiring sequence of events".

11.55pm: A choral rendition of "A New Beginning", by John Tavener.

Midnight: The song ends with a child's solo blending into the chimes of Big Ben. After a pause, a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne". The central arena will then "explode into life" with 500 performers in a show.

12.30am: The evening will end with a new arrangement of the National Anthem before the Queen leads guests and performers out of the arena.

1.30am: Guests will start to leave.

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