Hundreds of thousands flock to Berlin’s biggest New Year’s party

By dpa correspondents

Hundreds of thousands of tourists and Berliners flocked to Germany’s largest New Year’s Eve party on Tuesday near the Brandenburg Gate landmark.

So many people had already arrived by around 8 pm (1900 GMT) that the entrances to the party area in the centre of the German capital were closed to prevent overcrowding, the organizers said.

Visitors were subjected to strict security checks: Fireworks, bottles, sharp objects and larger bags were prohibited in the party area.

For the first time, some festive activities were not allowed in areas outside the main party mile, including a firecracker ban imposed in the Alexanderplatz area.

German singer-songwriter Kerstin Ott and the Swedish rock band Mando Diao were on the bill for the evening’s musical entertainment.

A man took the opportunity of having the largest possible stage on New Year’s Eve to make a marriage proposal to his partner in front of thousands of people at the Berlin party mile.

He was rewarded for his courage – she said yes.

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