North East Wales

Towns and cities in Wales prepare for new year parties

Fireworks explode near the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as 2009 begins (Picture: Zaidi Muhamad)
Image caption Cardiff's Calennig celebrations will culminate with a firework display welcoming in 2011

Towns and cities around Wales are gearing up for this year's New Year's Eve celebrations.

With better weather expected following the recent ice and snow, thousands of party-goers are expected on the nation's streets to see in 2011.

As back-up to Cardiff's annual Calennig event, the Millennium Stadium will be used as a makeshift hospital.

While in Wrexham a "drink safe" campaign has been launched to ensure people enjoy a safe night out.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the free Calennig celebrations at Cardiff Civic Centre between 2130 and 0030 GMT, where a live music concert with Dr and The Medics and T.Rextasy will be followed by fireworks.

The event will will include a family-aimed fire show and funfair, as well as midnight skating at the winter wonderland open air ice rink.

With many more revellers expected in the city's pubs and clubs, Cardiff council is laying on a special free bus service into and out of the city which runs from 2000 to approximately 0230 GMT.

A mobile triage and treatment centre is being set up at the Millennium Stadium by St John Cymru Wales, the Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust and other emergency services.

Last year, 22 minor injuries were treated at the stadium, with the more serious sent to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales.

In Wrexham a campaign has been launched to ensure people enjoy a safe night out.

The 'Think Safe, Drink Safe' initiative, funded by Wrexham Community Safety Partnership and Health Challenge Wrexham, offers a Drink Safe application for downloading on to mobile phones consisting of tips and advice for staying safe on a night out.

The app includes a 'Find my nearest...' feature to help people find their way around Wrexham town centre, sensible drinking advice to help people calculate how much alcohol they are drinking, and access to a range of emergency numbers.

Insp Alex Goss of North Wales Police said: "We want everyone to enjoy themselves and stay safe in Wrexham.

"We know that over this period, people tend to drink more than normal and our message is very simple: don't over do it, look after yourself and each other, and make sure you get home safely.

"We would also encourage people to drink responsibly and be mindful that excessive drinking can affect behaviour and lead to serious consequences."

BBC Wales weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar said that the weather around Wales on New Year's Eve would be mostly dry and warmer than of late.

"It will be mostly cloudy and dry with skies clearing in some areas, with temperatures varying from 0C to 6C, so still quite chilly," she said.

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