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June 24, 2017

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Taipei 101 fireworks usher in the New Year

The much-anticipated Taipei 101 fireworks finished its extravagant display in 188 seconds yesterday in front of more than 800,000 spectators in Xinyi District, according to reports.

President Ma Ying-jeou arrived for the countdown, lauding the nation's tourism industry that has flourished over the years and wishing the crowd a happy 2013.

According to the French company Groupe F, 22,000 fireworks were set off in 188 seconds, accompanied by the famous 1910 concert piece by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Orchestrated to an adapted version of "The Firebird," the fireworks were presented in four acts that resembled different themes of 2012.

After the fireworks, LED light displays of "Time For Taiwan," "Taiwan — the heart of Asia" and "Time for celebration" were shown on the tower's walls in English and Mandarin characters. The Tourism Bureau presented the LED show as part of their efforts to promote local tourism.

As for the fireworks show, the French company promised that it was sure to keep audiences "seduced and enthusiastic."

In its first act, themed "Farewell to the Past," the fireworks show displayed colors of red and blue to resemble the good and bad endeavors of 2012. The second act, themed "Dancing," launched bold colors of red, blue, green, purple and gold sparks to resemble the hope of a New Year; the third act, themed "Challenging the Extreme" displayed long streaks of fireworks shot into the skies and the final act was "Salute to the Future."

Representatives of Taipei 101 stressed that this year's carbon emissions from the fireworks will not exceed 4.5 metric tons, which is only two-thirds of that from previous years. In addition, the fireworks were imported from Spain, which showcases cold luminescence and low emission to cut down the smoke level.

Countdown Events Boom Despite Cold

Not to miss out on countdown events, various cities launched pop concerts to enhance the people's enthusiasm. This was also the first time Taiwan provided streaming Internet for the three major countdown events in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung and Taipei.

In preparation for the flocks of spectators swarming into Xinyi district, stores provided an excessive amount of warming packs, hot beverages and accessories. They also took down their glass doors to ensure safety.

Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕), a famous Taiwanese singer, braved the cold with tight-fitting shorts and a leather top, singing famous hit songs at the landmark tower. She also awed the audience after climbing on a miniature motorcycle, riding around the stage while singing. Singer Harlem (哈林) added to the crowd's enthusiasm with his hit songs and dances.

Other top entertainers performing were A-lin, Aaron Kwok and Amit.

Guitarist Crowd Lu, singer of the hit song "Good Morning, Beautiful Dawn!" led the opening for Taoyuan's countdown pop concert in front of a frenzied crowd as early as 5 p.m. Spectators also had the fortune of winning an LCD television, a car and other awards.

In the Kaohsiung area, pop concerts were held at Shihdai Boulevard and the E-DA Outlet Mall. Taiwan's top band Mayday led the event in front of Shidai Boulevard and later held an additional concert at the Kaohsiung National Stadium.

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