Pop princess Kylie Minogue wants Sydneysiders to come together for a big ol’ hug this New Year’s Eve, in a celebration tipped to be the city’s biggest ever.
In a video message screened on board the cruise ship Carnival Spirit at Circular Quay on today, the singer explained her 'embrace' theme for 2012.
"Embrace is all about acceptance, tolerance, diversity and above all, love," Minogue said.
"In a city of great diversity we come together at New Year’s Eve to embrace the future and celebrate all that we are, and the potential that tomorrow holds.
"It’s also about that magical moment at midnight when we throw our arms around the people we love and express our happiness."
The singer, who is the event’s creative ambassador for 2012, also unveiled a plan for one million Sydneysiders to get in on the action.
Punters who download a Telstra smartphone app can hold their phones up by the harbour side as the clock ticks closer to midnight on December 31.
The sea of phones will flash in synch, bathing the foreshore in magenta, yellow, purple and blue.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the interactive light show would be a world-first - as befits the world’s "New Year’s Eve capital", and the event’s $6.6 million price tag.
"This event is not just for Sydneysiders, it’s for visitors both from around Australia and from abroad," she said.
"We draw larger crowds than celebrations in London, Paris, Berlin or New York."
The smartphone app also allows members of the public to "message the bridge" by submitting words to be projected up on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at midnight.
The traditional fireworks shows will include 100,000 individual creations this year, including brand new koala, octopus and hand images up in lights.
Biodegradable firecracker casings and the use of recycled water would help keep this New Year’s Eve carbon neutral, Ms Moore added.
Fireworks director Fortunato Foti told reporters the pyrotechnic display might not be bigger than in previous years, but he did promise surprises.
"Hopefully people will go away saying, ’I haven’t seen that before,’" he said.
The night will kick off with the words ’Welcome to Sydney’ projected onto the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and an illuminated 52-boat parade will carry 8000 people through Sydney Harbour to drum up excitement as the night goes on.
NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher said it was apt the New Year’s Eve announcements were taking place on board a cruise liner, because the police message to revellers this year was "have a great time on New Year’s Eve, but don’t go overboard".
He predicted the 2012 celebrations would be the city’s best yet.
"We’re one of the first to enjoy it, and the rest look at it and they see it on television and they say, ’How can we match Sydney?’" Mr Gallacher said.
"Fact is, they won’t. We have Kylie Minogue, we have the harbour, and we have a city that will embrace New Year’s Eve."