Saturday, October 09, 1999

World Peace Bell may ring worldwide

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — The ringing of the World Peace Bell here throughout the day and night on New Year's Eve may be carried live around the world by Cable News Network.

        “We have been in discussion with CNN, and the network officials have indicated a willingness to televise most or all of the bell ringings,” Millennium Monument spokesman Joe Bride said Friday.

        New Year's Eve in Newport will be a full day of events, all linked to the World Peace Bell that will ring in the new year.

        Beginning with a prayer vigil at 6 a.m., the day will include activities for children and families, music, entertainment, the lighting of an eternal flame of peace, and fireworks.

        The 33-ton bronze bell will be hanging in its glass and steel pavilion at 5th and York streets, where people will not only be able to see it but can touch it by means of a special walk-up structure next to the pavilion.

        The bell will be struck every hour, beginning at 6 a.m. Dec.31, when the year 2000 arrives in the Pacific islands kingdom of Tonga.It will continue to ring hourly until 6 a.m. Jan.1, to announce the new year for the Samoan time zone.

        Although the bell will be rung with a striker every hour for 24 hours, it will actually swing and ring with the clapper just once — at midnight to herald the new year.

        A youth and family festival will fill the middle of the day with crafts, entertainment, food and prizes. These activities will take place in the Krause Building at 5th and Monmouth streets, and in heated tents along Monmouth Street.

        A World Peace Bell participation button will be required for entrance to these events. Plans for distribution of the buttons are being finalized.

        From 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 31, there will be a Burning of Regrets ceremony, where participants can write regrets on a piece of paper and then burn them in special chambers throughout the pavilion area.

        A Millennium Gala, co-sponsored by the city of Newport and Southbank Partners, will be held at The Syndicate restaurant and nightclub.

        After the World Peace Bell rings in the new year here, a fireworks display will take place from surrounding rooftops and firing areas.


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