Revelers bid adieu to a year of conflicts, celebrity deaths

As 2016 draws to a close, revelers around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts and deaths of legendary celebrities.


How people are ushering in the new year:

AUSTRALIA

After a year that saw the deaths of a seemingly endless parade of entertainers, Sydney will honor some of the most beloved. The city’s famed fireworks display over the harbor will pay homage to Prince and David Bowie, and will be set to a music medley inspired by the late singers.

“We are hoping to make it rain purple this year for the first time, not only off the barges, but also off the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” fireworks director Fortunato Forti said, referencing Prince’s hit “Purple Rain.”

The 7 tons of fireworks launched from barges on the harbor will also include a “Willy Wonka moment” in tribute to the late actor Gene Wilder’s most famous role, fireworks co-producer Catherine Flanagan said. And there will be a nod to the Bowie classic “Space Oddity,” with Saturn, moon and star-shaped fireworks. Bowie lived in Sydney for about 10 years during the 1980s and ’90s.

“This year, sadly, we saw the loss of many music and entertainment legends around the world,” Flanagan said. “So celebrating their music as part of Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks displays is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and what the future may hold.”

Around 1.5 million revelers are expected to ring the harbor to join in the festivities. An extra 2,000 police will be on duty and buses will be used to block off certain…

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