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Berlin ready for Germany's biggest New Year's party

DDP/The Local · 30 Dec 2008, 14:17

Published: 30 Dec 2008 14:17 GMT+01:00

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Organisers have been busy setting up the 2-kilometre long festival area for days. Eight heated tents, several food stands and three stages with some 20 artists will await the expected onslaught of up to one million visitors on Wednesday night.

The Brandenburg Gate has been setting of enormous New Year’s celebrations for many years, and east and west of the once divided city will be able to celebrate Silvester, as New Year's is known in German, together for the twentieth time since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The all-night open air party starts at 6 pm, with not necessarily top-shelf musical acts such as the Hermes House Band and the Pop Classic Tenors. But aside from the beer and Sekt, the highlight will surely be the 10-minute firework display at midnight.

Entrance is free, but guests will be subjetct to security searches at arrival. While glass bottles and hard spirits are not allowed, you can bring your own drink as long as it is less than half a litre and in a plastic container. Firecrackers aren’t allowed either, but there are places nearby where people can set off their Böller under the watchful eyes of the local fire fighters, which will have a 1,500 men strong team on site. Some 700 police will also be on duty for the night to insure the revellers don't get too out of hand.

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With New Year’s festivities ending in the hospital for approximately 500 Berliners every year, police and the emergency services have called for people to be careful when handling fireworks - which are so widespread that the German capital can seem like a war zone in some areas.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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