London plans New Year celebrations

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The capital is set to host thrilling New Year celebrations this year after a successful 12 months.

The stroke of midnight will be marked with a spectacular fireworks display organised by the London mayor that is free for those staying in central London hotels to attend.

Thousands will gather on the banks of the River Thames to watch the display, with many of the rockets being launched from boats on the water.

This year's fireworks show will celebrate the great hosting of the Olympic Games and the Queen's recent Diamond Jubilee.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, explained: "Our New Year's Eve fireworks will cap a triumphant year for London. As we welcomed the world to the magnificent celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the glorious success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London was at its very best.

"From the thrilling sporting action to the breath-taking cultural celebrations, it has been an unforgettable year…as we go into 2013 with a spectacular fireworks display I hope we can build on that energy and enthusiasm."

The celebrations will continue with the 27th London New Year's Day parade the next day. Thousands of performers are involved in the procession that travels 2.2 miles through the streets of the capital.

Starting at midday in Piccadilly, the parade will pass through Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall before arriving at Parliament Square at around 3pm.

Organisers are expected around 500,000 people to line the streets to see the parade pass by and some 10,000 people from around the world will be taking part in the parade that will involve dancing, acrobatics and music.