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WATCH: Cities around the world ring in the New Year with fireworks, fanfare

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MILWAUKEE — As 2016 draws to a close — a fact unlamented by many — it’s time for countries from east to west to ring in the New Year. Hello, 2017 — here we come!

One of the first to celebrate was New Zealand, where fireworks lit up the skies over Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Cities in neighboring Australia were among the next to welcome in the New Year.

Spectacular fireworks erupted from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and from barges on the water beneath.

The evening’s pyrotechnics, a family display at 9 p.m. and a midnight show, included tributes to Prince — in the form of a shower of purple rain — and David Bowie, both of whom died in 2016.

In Melbourne, about 440 miles south of Sydney, Instagram user Nathanael Campbell captured the magnificent, cacophonous crescendo that marked the end of 2016 there. Still, despite the impressive fireworks display, he said: “I think winning my league bowling award in cricket was my highlight for 2016.”

The palm trees and glass highrises of Brisbane City, north of Sydney, glowed under bursts of fireworks.

In the Philippines, Kevin Gener photographed shafts of red light rising over Manila Ocean Park.

Riley Nolan witnessed the illuminated outlines of the Philippines’ financial hub in the city of Makati to usher in 2017.

Happy New Year!

A post shared by Riley Nolan (@rnolan54) on

Baghdad brought in the new year with a fireworks show where hundreds of people came out to watch and celebrate.

European cities including Berlin, London, Paris and Rome stepped up security ahead of their New Year’s celebrations, following truck attacks in 2016 on crowds in Nice, France, and Berlin.

In London, tickets sold out for what promised to be a dramatic fireworks display above the River Thames, complete with a concert by singer Robbie Williams.

Revelers in the United States will be waiting for the ball — or indeed, other things — to drop to signal the start of the New Year. Many Americans may want to turn the page on a year that was a political roller coaster.

In New York’s Times Square, Ben Von Klemperer captured the heightened security as the gates opened more than 12 hours before the big celebration. Temperatures were in the high 30s.

We will be adding video of other New Year’s celebrations from around the world as they become available.