Mon, Dec 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taipei, MRT prepare for New Year’s celebrations

PARTY LIKE IT IS 2013:The festivities are expected to attract more than 850,000 attendees and will include a massive fireworks display and a number of music acts

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Taipei’s New Year Countdown Party will begin at the plaza in front of Taipei City Hall at 7pm on Monday next week, with Taipei MRT lines scheduled to run for 42 hours non-stop starting on Saturday to handle the crowd.

The annual event, organized by the Taipei City Government, will feature pop stars such as Hong Kong singer Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Taiwanese diva A-mei (張惠妹) and singer Harlem Yu (虞澄慶). Patty Hou (侯佩岑) and Plungon (浩角響起) will host the party, according to the city’s Department of Information and Tourism.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and city officials will join revelers at the countdown to midnight, with a fantastic fireworks spectacle set to light up Taipei 101 as the city ushers in the New Year.

Taipei 101 spokesman Michael Liu (劉家豪) said the annual fireworks show at one of the world’s tallest buildings will feature 22,000 rounds of fireworks that will be launched over 188 seconds, along with specially tailored music — an adaptation of The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky — with the theme “Swing for the Future.”

The countdown party and fireworks display attracted more than 850,000 spectators for the six-hour show last year, and the crowd is likely to be bigger this year, the department said.

To meet the increased transportation needs, Taipei Rapid Transportation Corp (TRTC) will provide 42-hour non-stop services on all MRT lines beginning on Saturday. Trains are set to run every 2.15 minutes at peak hours.

TRTC deputy chairman Shen Chih-chang (沈志藏) said revelers are expected on the blue line running to Taipei City Hall Station from 4pm on Dec 31. If overcrowding occurs, the corporation could close the station after 7pm and have revelers disembark one station earlier, at MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station.

About 1,000 volunteers and police officers will join MRT staff to assist with crowd control inside the MRT stations. The additional manpower will be stationed along train platforms, ticket gates and station exits, Shen said.

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