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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 07:02 GMT
Wales parties out the old century
Manics crowd
Thousands celebrated the new millennium in Cardiff
Wales celebrated the millennium with street parties, fireworks and the world's largest indoor millennium music event.

Here, News Online details where the best millennium parties were in Wales.


Cardiff

One of the biggest parties in Wales was on the streets of Cardiff city centre where a Calennig festival took place.

The event was based on a revival of the old Welsh Calennig tradition of giving new year gifts.

South Wales Police estimated about 10,000 people were at the event at midnight to watch a firework display in the drizzle.

They had earlier been entertained by stage performers, funfare rides, music and a light show.

Cardiff-born teenaged singing star Charlotte Church turned down invitations to sing for US President Bill Clinton and the Pope to perform in her home city.

Cardiff Lord Mayor Russell Goodway said: "I was immensely proud to be part of such a fantastic event. It was the perfect way to welcome the next century."

The Welsh capital also staged the world's biggest indoor music event, as the Manic Street Preachers rock band played before 57,000 people in the Millennium Stadium.

The concert was billed as the biggest ever staged by a band from Wales with two billion people around the globe expected to tune in.

But numbers were be restricted because of concerns that fans could cause the building to sway.

Meanwhile, the Wales National Ice Rink Fatboy Slim and DJ Pete Tong hosted a 99-a-head dance party.

Manic Street Preachers
The manic Street Preachers held the biggest party at the Millennium Stadium

Actor Ioan Gruffudd received a cheer from the crowd in Cardiff when he lit the National Millennium Beacon for Wales.

David Petersen, who designed the beacon made of Welsh steel, said he was relieved the flame had managed to light up as planned.

Around 300 officers were on duty over the millennium after rest days were cancelled.

Police had urged revellers to plan their return journeys in advance because public transport will be limited.

The St John's Ambulance brigade had more than 100 volunteers on duty including doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Newport

Events were held around the famous Transporter Bridge.

Police said only nine pubs in the city were open for revellers who did not have tickets. They warned there was no public transport available.

Swansea

The centrepiece of Swansea's First Weekend celebrations was a Bio-Diversity Carnival (part of the Green Futures Eco-Festival).

Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd lit the National Beacon of Wales
Highlights included demonstration projects and exhibits on a wide range of wildlife.

Costumes, masks and giant puppets depicting plants, animals and habitats, for a massive procession through the city centre on New Year's Eve, was made by volunteers and schools, with help from local artists.

After the procession around the city, a fireworks and pyrotechnics show lit up Swansea Bay to mark the midnight hour.

At midnight, an impromptu conga took place in the city's Castle Square against the background of explosions from firework displays on Kilvey Hill and Townhill.

Mountain Ash

The annual New Year's Eve Nos Galan race was the biggest ever. There was also a firework display.

Tenby

Tenby claimed to be one of the best places to be over the New Year.

The National Beacon of Wales
The National Beacon of Wales
The midnight celebrations centred in Tudor Square, with a street DJ providing the musical entertainment.

An LED display clock face counted down the hours, minutes and seconds to zero hour.

To make use of the natural amphitheatre in the harbour, a water screen with dramatic light projections rose out of the sea for a 15-20 minute show that was be repeated throughout the early hours of the morning of 1 January, 2000.

Police estimated around 5,000 people were at the event.

Fishguard

Celebrations adopted the theme of the last invasion of Britain by the French.

Lighted floats appeared in the harbour dressed in the flags of both nations.

Between 6pm and 1am the town's of Fishguard and Goodwick hold a joint street party along the Golden Mile.

Aberystwyth

The town put on a procession with what was claimed to be the largest Mari Lwyd ever. Mari Lwyd is an old Welsh New Year's Eve custom in which a horse's skull is decorated and paraded around the streets.

On the coast

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency warned seafarers not to set off red flares during their millennium celebrations.

Reveller
A reveller in north Wales
The flares are visible for 39 nautical miles and would spark a major alert.

They also warned people attending beach parties not to swim in the sea at night.

On the mountains

Police reported no incidents in the mountains of Snowdonia - despite fears that there would be a surge of walkers heading to the summit of Snowdon to celebrate the new millennium.

However, the Ogwen Valley mountain rescue team were out earlier in the evening to help two climbers in a party of four who got into difficulties on a crag.

See also:

01 Jan 00 | Wales
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