Even though New Year’s Eve is on Thursday, now would be a good time to start making plans, with countdown parties in cities and counties across the country.
Wherever you are in the capital, all eyes will likely be on Taipei 101 come midnight. The building welcomes 2010 with 22,000 rounds of fireworks — 6,000 more than last year — for a show lasting 188 seconds and costing a total of NT$30 million.
But back to that important number, 2010. This also happens to be the price in NT dollars to view the fireworks from inside Taipei 101’s 89th floor observation deck. The Light Taiwan 101 party, which starts at 9:30pm, features R ’n’ B band Hot Shock, as well as lucky draw prizes that include Nokia cell phones and free ice cream coupons from Cold Stone Creamery. Tickets had not yet sold out when the Taipei Times contacted the organizer, Lion Travel (雄獅旅行社), earlier this week, but space is limited to 1,200 persons and the event sold out last year. For reservations, call (02) 2175-6611 or visit www.liontravel.com/Comm/2Dom/HotSale/101/index3.asp.
Another sky-high option for viewing the fireworks is the Miramar (美麗華) Ferris wheel in Taipei’s Neihu District, but expect long lines. Even if you don’t get a spot, there will be a concert celebration at the Miramar Entertainment Park (美麗華百樂園), at 20 Jingye 3rd Rd, Neihu Dist, Taipei City (台北市內湖區敬業三路20號), with a roster of musical guests that includes Cape No.7 (海角七號) star musician Ma Nian-hsien (馬念先) and pop duo JS. Getting to Miramar is easier than ever now that the MRT’s Wenhu Line (文湖線) has been completed (provided there are no service interruptions). The stop is Jiannan Road MRT Station (捷運劍南路站).
Or stick to Taipei tradition and see some of Taiwan’s biggest pop stars at Taipei City Hall (臺北市政府) at 1 Shifu Rd, Taipei City (台北市市府路1號). TV funnyman Hu Gua (胡瓜) and Pauline Lan (藍心湄) start warming up the crowd at 7pm, with music acts appearing throughout the evening. Performers include Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), Mayday (五月天), S.H.E and Crowd Lu (盧廣仲). The party is the city’s largest gathering and goes until 1am.
Taichung City will be sharing Wang Lee-hom with Taipei for its party, which is organized by GTV (八大) and takes place at National Taiwan Sport University Stadium (國立台灣體育大學體育場), 16, Shuangshih Rd Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市雙十路一段16號). Rainie Yang (楊丞琳) and Aska Yang (楊宗緯) are among a long list of pop stars slated to appear.
Not to be outdone by Taipei, Kaohsiung City is planning a 199-second fireworks spectacle, along with appearances and performances by a host of entertainers including Kaohsiung native Tiger Huang (黃小琥), actor Mark Chao (趙又廷), Crowd Lu (who is splitting his time with Taipei’s celebration) and Japanese pop duo Hangry and Angry. The party takes place on the block near the Dream Mall (夢時代廣場), at 789, Jhonghua 5th Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市中華五路789號). The main stage festivities run from 7:30pm to 1:30am, but the party continues until 3am.
Tainan is throwing a party at the city government building’s western plaza (台南市政府西側廣場) starting at 7:30pm. Keelung’s New Year’s Eve party takes place once again at Pier 3 East and Pier 4 East in the harbor district and starts at 8pm. Taitung’s Taimali Township (太麻里鄉), which was hit hard by Typhoon Morakot in August, is adding a prayer ritual to their New Year’s celebration in commemoration of their losses. A full list of New Year’s Eve parties can be found at 2010ny.emmm.tw (in Mandarin only).
If you’re attending a celebration in a major city, plan for traffic and crowd control measures. In Taipei and Kaohsiung, expect large crowds and restricted access to certain stations on the MRT, which will run extended hours. Have a safe holiday and please don’t drink and drive.
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