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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 11:42 GMT
Showbiz glitz in Hollywood
Lighting up the world's most famous sign
Showbiz glitz marked new year celebrations in Los Angeles, where the landmark Hollywood sign was lit up in a blaze of light and colours.

At the stroke of midnight, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and stand-up comedian Jay Leno turned on 2.7 million watts of power to illuminate the neon sign.


It's Hollywood, it should be neon every night.

Yves Lelevier
It was the first time the giant sign was lit up since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

But in a shift from millennium celebrations around the world, public participation was small with most Angelenos preferring to ring in the new year at private parties, held across the sprawling metropolis.

Into 2000

Police and officials discouraged people from gathering at Beverly Hills, as the community's well-heeled residents feared of being overrun by revellers.

"It's for television," said Adolfo Nodal of the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.

"There is no gathering at the Hollywood sign."

But some felt that the giant illumination was a good thing.

"It's totally appropriate," said Yves Lelevier, who could see the Hollywood sign through his dining room window.

"It's Hollywood, it should be neon every night."

Performances

The millennium was also celebrated at five free family-oriented events, which were alcohol-free and linked by giant video screens.

Party on The Strip
They featured live performances by Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, rock band Los Lobos, as well a version of Auld Lang Syne by The Eagles.

Most people were looking forward to the New Year's day Rose Parade, an annual event held during the Rose Bowl football game, featuring the country's two top college football teams.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, fireworks lit up the sky over the Bay area with thousands gathered at the illuminated Embarcadero waterfront.

And in Las Vegas, an end-of-the millennium bash was hosted on the Strip, featuring some of the biggest names of the entertainment industry.

Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Bette Midler were part of a celebrity crowd which cheered and danced alongside the Strip's replica of the Eiffel Tower and the pyramid-shaped Luxor.

See also:

01 Jan 00 | Americas
31 Dec 99 | In Depth
31 Dec 99 | Science/Nature
01 Jan 00 | UK
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
31 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
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