The New Year is racing towards us at breakneck pace and Pattaya City means to say goodbye 2012, hello 2013 in the grandest style. The Pattaya Countdown to 2013 is set to be bigger and better than ever with the city authorities already budgeting to spend 12.5mn baht on creating an event to remember for residents and visitors alike.

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It has become something of a tradition that Pattaya goes all out to see in the New Year and this year the festivities are guaranteed to fill the city with smiles as a festival of colour, music, games and one of the biggest firework events in Asia are all planned. Last year, the Tourist Authority of Thailand voted Pattaya the best ‘New Year Countdown’ in the Kingdom beating the likes of Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai with 60% of the total votes (Bangkok coming a very distant second with just 19%). This year, city officials are adamant that they will retain the title with over half a million people expected to attend the Countdown events.

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The focus for the Pattaya Countdown festival will be Bali Hai pier and a huge stage which will host nightly entertainment from December 25th right up until midnight at New Year. The stage will feature a wide variety of Thai and international music acts. The city officials are keen to cater to all tastes and all genres of music will be featured. The pier will also host a wide variety of games and fun activities for all the family.

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The start of the Pattaya New Year Countdown Festival will be marked by the lighting up of an enormous Christmas tree said to be the biggest in Thailand. The tree lighting ceremony will take place from 8pm on the evening of Christmas Day. It will be accompanied by a firework spectacular and the first of the concerts on the big stage.

After the opening night, every evening will feature different entertainment starting at 8pm nightly and ending at midnight with fireworks.

The excitement will build over the week to reach a crescendo on New Year’s Eve with a series of exceptional music acts and a celebrity singalong just before the midnight countdown. Midnight will be heralded by the biggest firework show of the year (and that’s saying something in a city that annually hosts an international firework competition).

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The fireworks do not end with the competition; in keeping with its growing reputation as a world-class city, Pattaya is host to the longest New Year celebrations in the Kingdom. Starting on 25 December until 31 December there are nightly celebrations and fireworks displays on Bali Hai Pier from 8pm until midnight. As well as food and goods being sold from booths set up along the beach road, there is entertainment to suit the tastes of everyone with traditional Thai songs and dance at the forefront.  The week-long celebrations culminates on 31 December in the biggest fireworks display of all, which organisers say is lighting up the whole of the seafront and be seen throughout the city and way beyond.

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