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London New Year's Day Parade Celebrates 2012 Olympic Gamesmakers (PICTURES)

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Germantown High School 'Warhawk' Marching Band from Wisconsin in the United States passes Nelsons Column | AP

Spectators basked in sunshine on Tuesday as London welcomed 2013 with a New Year's Day parade that celebrated the city's Olympics glory.

Organisers said more than 500,000 people had enjoyed the fair weather as floats, cheerleaders and brass bands marched through the centre of the capital.

The stars of the show were the Olympic volunteers who welcomed the world to London in the summer and helped make the Games such a success.

Crowds, which stood three-deep, were entertained by the Pandemonium Drummers, whose performance was one of the Olympics opening ceremony's highlights, and the Games Maker Choir.

Cheerleaders from across the US, including Kentucky and Austin, Texas, showed off their pom-pom tricks.

Event organiser Bob Bone told Sky News: "We thought it was a fitting thing to ask them (the Games Makers) to
come into our parade so that we could say thank you to them.

"But also we are looking forward as well as backward, because I think the Games Makers have shown that there's a great volunteering spirit in this country.

"There are lots of things that people can carry on doing to carry that spirit of the Games Makers forward into 2013 and beyond."


Justin Tomlinson MP
Fantastic to see the efforts of the Olympic Gamesmakers celebrated in the London New Year Parade

Hayley
Watching the New Year's Day parade to see if we can spot Grandma who's with her fellow gamesmakers.

A worldwide television audience watched as floats representing London's boroughs competed with each other to bring festive cheer to the streets.

The parade made its way past some of the capital's best-known landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Parliament.

Earlier in the day, 200 clean-up staff had cleared around 160 tonnes of rubbish from the streets of Westminster following the capital's New Year's Eve party.

As thousands of people gathered in the capital to see out one of its most memorable years in recent history, revellers also partied on the streets of Edinburgh - dubbed the home of Hogmanay - to welcome the new year.

British forces serving in Helmand Province rang in 2013 with pipe music and party poppers, saying goodbye to the year in which the first 500 servicemen were sent home from Afghanistan.

Celebrations continued today with the New Year's Day dip at Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, where swimmers braved the cold water to mark the beginning of 2013.

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