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Belfast only UK capital not to officially mark New Year

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New Year preparations saw south American dancers rehearse for the New Year’s Day parade in London

New Year preparations saw south American dancers rehearse for the New Year’s Day parade in London

PA

New Year preparations saw south American dancers rehearse for the New Year’s Day parade in London

Belfast will be the only one of the four UK capitals not to stage an official New Year's Eve civic celebration tonight.

In London 12,000 fireworks are set to light up the city's skyline tonight when the clock strikes midnight.

In Edinburgh last night's annual torchlight procession created a river of fire along the Royal Mile, setting the scene for tonight's New Year's Eve display.

Celebrations will also take place in cities including Manchester, Cardiff, Newcastle, Inverness and Nottingham - but no New Year's Eve displays are planned for cities in Northern Ireland.

Belfast has not held a civic New Year's event since 2008, while Londonderry's last New Year's Eve celebration came in 2013, when the city was UK Capital of Culture.

Last night a City Council spokesman confirmed that no official celebration had been organised to mark the new decade.

Earlier this year north Belfast DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst proposed that the celebration should be reinstated.

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The idea was welcomed by the city's hospitality sector, and last night Cllr Pankhurst said he was optimistic the council would organise a major New Year's Eve celebration for next year.

In London around 2,000 of the fireworks set off during tonight's the dazzling display will be fired from the London Eye, with the remainder coming from barges moored on the Thames.

Weather-wise, the new decade is set for a soft start, with mild, windy and cloudy weather tomorrow and early on Thursday.

The first rain of the new decade is due to fall on Thursday.

Things will turn colder from Friday, but it will stay mostly dry, UK Met Office forecasters said.

New Year's Eve temperatures in Scotland and parts of northern England are forecast to fall close to freezing, at around 1C (33.8F) or 2C (35.6F), according to forecasters

The rest of the UK is likely to see the mercury fall to around 5C (41F).


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