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Eleanor Bradford reports
"There may have been freezing rain but it didn't dampen the spirits of partygoers"
 real 56k

Monday, 1 January, 2001, 13:23 GMT
Praise for Hogmanay revellers
Revellers in Edinburgh
Happy 'Hug-manay' - revellers savour the atmosphere
Police and organisers of Scotland's Hogmanay celebrations have praised the partygoers who braved the freezing conditions to welcome in the New Year.

Revellers who took to the streets for major celebrations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee won tributes for heeding safety and public order appeals.

More than 100,000 people packed into central Edinburgh for Britain's largest street party and Lothian and Borders Police said there were just four arrests and very few injuries.

It is a tribute to partygoers that we have recorded the lowest number of arrests and casualties since the street party began.

David Strang, Lothian and Borders Police
However, celebrations in Stirling were cancelled after police voiced concerns about public safety in the arctic conditions.

Partygoers in Edinburgh were treated to massive firework displays on the stroke of midnight.

The huge crowd assembled in Princes Street cheered as a massive display lit up Edinburgh Castle and the city's skyline.

Other displays were also staged on hills around the capital creating a vast array of colour over "Auld Reekie".

Edinburgh Castle fireworks
Edinburgh Castle provided a stunning backdrop
Snow-covered Edinburgh Castle provided a stunning backdrop as a number of musicians, including chart-topping star Moby, entertained the crowd.

Some revellers took advantage of the freezing conditions to pack an ice rink set beside the city's art galleries while others took in spectacular aerial views from the temporary Ferris Wheel at the Scott Monument.

More than 400,000 people - half of them from abroad - have nearly doubled Edinburgh's population in the past few days.

But fears of severe blizzards did not materialise and the thousands gathered in the capital remained in high spirits throughout the evening.

'Reduced capacity'

Assistant Chief Constable David Strang said: "It is a tribute to partygoers that we have recorded the lowest number of arrests and casualties since the street party began.

"Although there was a reduced capacity for the party arena for this year for safety reasons, this by no means diminished the party atmosphere."

Moby in Edinburgh
Moby entertained Edinburgh revellers
Edinburgh Lord Provost, Eric Milligan, said: "There was real excitement around the city tonight which made for a fantastic event. Edinburgh is once again proving to be the place to be at Hogmanay."

Some partygoers sought the ultimate hangover cure on Monday morning by taking part in the traditional New Year swim in the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth.

In Glasgow, BBC Radio One DJ Dave Pearce ushered in the New Year at an all-ticket street party in George Square.

A fireworks display over the City Chambers warmed up the tens of thousands who had braved the cold.

Glasgow Science Centre also hosted a Riverside Spectacular with music and fireworks.

Large crowds also gathered in Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness to welcome in 2001.

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See also:

01 Jan 01 | Scotland
Die hard swimmers go Forth
01 Jan 01 | Scotland
Edinburgh's Hogmanay in pictures
30 Dec 00 | Scotland
Weather warning to revellers
29 Dec 00 | Scotland
Hogmanay freeze warning
28 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snow causes havoc for Scots
27 Dec 00 | Scotland
Heavy snow hits Scotland
26 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snowfall catches bookies cold
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