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Times Square revelry as close as 5th Avenue

(ran PC edition)

Jerry Miller wants local residents to go to Times Square on New Year's Eve.

The one on Fifth Avenue in Zephyrhills, that is. Not the one in New York City.

"It's a local thing for local people," said Miller, president of Zephyrhills Main Street. "It's centered around families. It's for everyone to come out and have fun."

The downtown celebration, not a Main Street event, will run Sunday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., an hour into the new millennium.

A local disc jockey will be on hand until midnight. There will be a big screen television showing live shots of a slightly more crowded Times Square in New York City. A large clock on the street will tick down the seconds until the new year.

Games for kids and several food vendors also will be set up on Main Street.

No alcohol will be served.

Miller said that there is a practical reason for having a local New Year's celebration.

"The incentive is really to keep people from going out of town and drinking and getting on the highways," Miller said. "This is a way to keep people in town."

National Weather Service is calling for clear and cold weather Sunday night, with temperatures as low as 25 degrees.

Miller said the freezing forecast shouldn't discourage people from coming.

"It might be chilly," he said. "But, hey, they do it in New York City."