Y2K with a howitzer bang?

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This is silly, but I couldn't resist posting it. Maybe this is why troops will be in the cities...

From Anchorage Daily news dated today <:)=

City not sure about big-gun salute, but other plans on track

Hardy partiers have scarfed up nearly 10,000 admission pins, commemorative coins should be struck next week, Safeway wants to sell the T-shirts, and Jewel may show up for the opening ceremony on Delaney Park Strip.

The howitzers are still a problem.

The big public party to welcome the millennium is coming together, said Tennys Owens, head of Anchorage 2000, which is organizing an arts and culture bash expected to fill downtown streets and buildings on New Year's Eve.

With seven weeks to go, the schedule for the seven-hour event is taking shape. The party will begin on the park strip at 5:30 p.m. with entertainment by country music singer Will Triplet and others. Jewel's "people" have called to say she would like to participate in the opening if details can be worked out, Owens said. The singer is performing later that night at Sullivan Arena.

Starting at 6 p.m., everyone is invited to walk from the park strip to Town Square in a candlelight procession.

The big fireworks display will begin at 7 p.m., a high-elevation show that should be visible from all over downtown.

When the fireworks are done, construction and landing lights will be turned on and downtown "will be lit up like daylight to make everyone feel safe and warmer," the schedule says. A three-gun howitzer salute will mark the start of performances on the street and inside the Egan Center and the Performing Arts Center.


The howitzers are a problem. Will the concussion from firing them downtown break windows in the surrounding buildings? The U.S. Army, which has offered to provide the artillery and a 200-person parade of flags, says the guns probably won't break windows, according to Owens, but she is wary.

"We're trying not to make any mistakes," she said Thursday. "Imagine a thousand broken windows, ... all those glass buildings, ... Nordstrom! ... Oh, God, I'd be run out of town on a rail."

She and the army are going to talk some more, Owens said.

With or without the howitzers, the outdoor part of the celebration will feature snow and ice sculptures as well as lighting displays, street artists and street vendors selling things like coffee and hot cocoa.

Organizers are also promising warming tents. No one at Anchorage 2000 wants to talk about the weather except to say we're all sunk if it rains.

The National Weather Service has more sense than to predict Alaska weather seven weeks away, but forecaster David Vonderheide said trends suggest a colder and drier than normal winter. There's a slightly higher chance than normal that it will be a clear, cold night, he said.

The Egan Center will cater to children for the early part of the evening with puppets, jugglers, clowns, storytelling, balloons and face painting.

At the First United Methodist Church, choirs will rotate performances. The church will also provide a rest stop for parents who need to warm up their kids or change diapers.

Upward of 150 acts will perform before midnight at the Egan Center and the PAC, according to Darl Schaaf, the entertainment traffic director.

Will Triplet and the Soul Searchers will perform two shows at the PAC.

In addition to schedule details, merchandise tied to the party is popping up around town. Posters by Barbara Lavelle, gold and silver coins by Alaska Mint, T-shirts available through Safeway stores, and lapel pins will help raise the estimated $275,000 cost of the event, Owens said.

The $8 admission pins, sold at all Williams Express stations and Carrs grocery stores, are needed by everyone over 5 years of age to enter buildings where indoor performances will be held.

Anchorage 2000, with help from United Way, has initiated a campaign called Bag-O-Buttons to get charities and businesses to buy bags of 25 admission buttons for $200 for distribution to families that might have trouble coming up with the admission price, said Laurie Cunningham, Anchorage 2000 director.

"An $8 ticket per person is an issue for some families," Cunningham said. "A lot of families don't normally have an opportunity to go to the Performing Arts Center to see arts and culture performances. It's a way to open up the event to more people."

Reporter Sheila Toomey can be reached at stoomey@adn.com or 257-4341.

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), November 12, 1999


Sorry, I forgot to copy the LINK part of the link...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), November 12, 1999.

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