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Celebs get on their bikes to illuminate holiday decorations

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Times Square is the traditional focus of the Big Apple's December 31 celebrations, and this year when millions of revellers witness the time-honoured countdown ceremony, it will be thanks, in part, to Liza Minnelli.

On Tuesday the irrepressible formerly wheelchair-bound showbiz veteran, wearing designer gym wear, helped generate the energy that will power the New Year's Eve lights – and encouraged fans to follow suit.

Hopping on a 'snowmobike' along with cast members from her new theatre show, Liza explained how the process works.

"What happens is really cool. Whoever is riding these bikes here... it's storing energy that on New Year's Eve, coming into 2009, will light up Times Square," she said. "Anybody can come down here and pedal and be a part of something that will go on forever."

In a similarly eco-friendly gesture, thousands of miles away in Manchester, the stars of Coronation Street helped light up the city with their pedal power.

Weatherfield lothario Ryan Thomas and Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz Brown, were among those getting on their bikes to illuminate decorations in Hardman Square.

Photo: ©
Liza Minnelli and cast members from her eponymous Broadway show generate energy to power Times Square's New Year's Eve display Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
In Manchester Coronation Street stars Ryan Thomas and Jennie McAlpine were kickstarting a similar scheme - this time to power Christmas decorations in the centre of the northern cityPhoto: © Rex