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Australia rings in New Year

Thousands flocked to Sydney Harbour on Tuesday hours before the New Year’s Eve fireworks exploded over the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Seven tonnes of pyrotechnics, including 11,000 shells and 25,000 shooting comets lit up Sydney skies at midnight, watched by one billion people around the world, local media said.

More than 1.5 million people watched in person.

Before fireworks, Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, said the city was ready for the celebration.

“We think we’re ready to host the world’s best New Years Eve on the world’s most beautiful harbour,” he said.

Many people camped overnight to get the best vantage point, including Chinese tourist, Evan Wong.

“Tonight someone told me it’s the biggest fireworks in the world and Australia is the first,” he said.

In downtown Toronto, City will once again be hosting its annual New Year’s Eve party at Nathan Phillips Square.

The party will run from 8 p.m. to midnight, the 29th year City has celebrated in the square.

There will be skating, food trucks, musical performances from KiSS 92.5 DJ Clymaxxx, R&B band Fathead and funk band God Made Me Funky, and of course, a spectacular fireworks show to ring in 2014.

Hosts from City and Sportsnet will emcee live events and host coverage from the square, while on City, viewers can watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2014.

CityNews Tonight will carry live coverage of festivities from the square at 11 p.m. in a special national news edition.

In New York City, organizers are preparing for the big ball drop in Times Square.

This year, the ball is complete with 2688 Waterford crystals.

“There are more than 32,000 LEDs on this giant ball all of which can be digitally controlled when the ball drops here in Times Square on New Year’s Eve,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, told Reuters.

They can be programmed to make about 16 million different color combinations.

Over a billion people are expected to tune in to the NYC bash.

Rogers Media is the parent company of City, CityNews and this website.

What are you doing for new Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments.