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Originally published December 31, 2009 at 12:04 AM | Page modified December 31, 2009 at 11:59 PM

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Weekend highlight

Space Needle's fireworks to welcome new year

Fireworks at the Space Needle, Dec. 31, 2009 and things to do Jan. 1, Seattle.

Seattle Times staff

Fireworks light up the Space Needle at midnight tonight to welcome the new year for revelers at Seattle Center, around the region and around the world.

This year's show, created by Pyro Spectaculars, promises more dazzle than ever, with pyrotechnic effects firing from the Needle's core to its rooftop tower.

An estimated 400,000 people watch from any location with a view of the Needle and 20,000 or so are expected to gather at Seattle Center. The display, one of the largest on the West Coast, will be choreographed to classical music simulcast on STAR 101.5 FM and broadcast live on KING-TV. "Plan to arrive by 10 p.m.; that's when Seattle Center and the surrounding area get really congested," said Seattle Center Director of Communications Deborah Daoust. "Lots of people come early for the free rock dance in the Center House that's always a lot of fun."

The Seattle Center Monorail will provide service until 1 a.m. to carry passengers to and from the Seattle Center and Sound Transit Light Rail extends its service from Westlake station until 1 a.m. The ice rink in Fisher Pavilion is open until 10 p.m., the Fun Forest Pavilion is open until midnight with a few outside rides open until 11 p.m. and food vendors in the Center House will be open until 12:30 a.m.

Pacific Science Center, EMP/SFM, the Space Needle and the Monorail are among other Seattle Center attractions open Friday.

Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, the Museum of Flight and Museum of History & Industry in Seattle are open Friday, New Year's Day. Bellevue Magic Season celebrates the new year with the last night of Celebration Lane at 7 p.m. tonight, Garden d'Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden is open through Saturday and ice skating in Bellevue Downtown Park is open daily through Jan. 10

The details

Time: All-ages rock 'n' roll dance with music by The Machine, 8-11:45 p.m. today, Center House, free. Fireworks show at the Space Needle starts just before midnight.

Cost: Free. Winterfest ice rink, $3-$5, skate rental $2. Space Needle parties, $125-$250 by reservation, if space available, 800-937-9582.

Getting there: From Interstate 5, take Exit 167, Mercer Street; at the end of the ramp, turn right at Fairview Avenue North, turn left at Valley Street, Valley Street becomes Broad Street, turn right at Denny Way, then right on Second Avenue North.

Seattle Center traffic hotline and parking info, 206-233-3989; Metro Transit service, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.metrokc.gov/; Sound Transit Link light-rail information, 206-398-5000 or soundtransit.org;Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or www.seattlemonorail.com.

More information: 206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com.

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Bellevue Magic Season: 425-453-1223 or www.magicseason.com.

Seattle Aquarium: 206-386-4320 or www.seattleaquarium.org.

Woodland Park Zoo: 206-548-2500 or www.zoo.org.

Museum of History & Industry: 206-324-1126 or www.seattlehistory.org.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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