London gears up for New Year’s Eve parties

Those spending New Year's Eve in luxury London hotels can take advantage of an array of events going on across the city to ring in the New Year.

Trafalgar Square plays host to one of the world's most famous New Year's Eve parties, attracting thousands of revellers from across the world to central London hotels.

As people count down to midnight and 2012, the Mayor's midnight fireworks display will entertain the huge cowds that gather around the famous landmark as well as the Thames.

In total, 250,000 people line up along the river, outside Westminster Palace and other top attractions to see the display.

Specially assigned viewing areas usually fill up two to three hours in advance so people are advised to arrive early. But fret not, the city hopes to entertain revellers with live DJs.

After partying the night away, adventurous visitors can enjoy the New Year's Day Parade that crowns the capital's festive season.

Lasting three hours, the event will see more than 10,000 dancers, acrobats, musicians, entertainers and performers.

This year's parade will also be the first event to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee in 2012 as well as the upcoming Olympics.  

Celebrating the cultures of different nations, the parade features artists and performers from around the world.

Organisers recently announced that bands and choruses from American high schools and universities will bring thousands of students to the capital.

The parade starts in Parliament Square at noon, as Big Ben strikes the hour the group proceeds down Parliament Street to Trafalgar Square, moving on to Pall Mall, Regent Street and Piccadilly to end at Green Park tube station.

Established in 1987, the parade offers yearly free entertainment to thousands of revellers.

"Nearly 25 years on, the New Year's Day Parade London is the biggest event of its kind in the world, boasts a street-side audience approaching half a million, receives a huge amount of international media coverage, has a list of patrons that represent the very highest levels of officialdom and also enjoys the recognition and support of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," explained organisers.

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