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Brooklyn welcomes 2011 with a bang


Savvy New Year’s Eve revelers knew to stay clear of Times Square and Dick Clark (yawn) at the stroke of midnight on Friday, preferring to have their ball in Brooklyn while greeting 2011 with a bang.

The unseasonably balmy temps drew thrill seekers to Grand Army Plaza near Prospect Park, a popper’s hurl away from a seasonally luminous Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch, where they ushered in a new decade with fireworks, and plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” to accompany the cavalcade of color — a joint holiday gift from Borough Hall and the Prospect Park Alliance.

New Alliance President and Prospect Park Administrator Emily Lloyd (no, not the actress from across the pond, but just as charming) looked every inch part of a merry host, arriving for her first day on the job in a festive hat, and parking herself near Borough President Markowitz and Brooklyn’s First Lady, Jamie, who rang in the hour with a smoldering smooch.

Rootin’-tootin’ Brooklynites and visitors, decked out in their party shimmer, cast a glow as far as the eye could wander and sent the decibel level skyrocketing with the evening’s most coveted accessory — noisemakers.

Bright-eyed children made sure they were seen AND heard, excitedly bobbing in between the adults as they waited for the big moment to arrive.

“This is the best day of the year because I get to stay up way past midnight,” extolled Sunset Park frolicker Agatha Aidala, 8, who came with her family to watch all the explosive action.

Free hot chocolate and live entertainment by the Rock ’N’ Soul Experience made the countdown palatable for Agatha and all the other the happy hordes.

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