Revelers to honor late celebrities in 2016 'era of chaos'

As 2016 draws to a close, many are bidding a weary adieu to a year of political surprises, prolonged conflicts, refugees and deaths of some famous people. A look at how people around the world are preparing to usher 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…

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