REVELLERS last night steered clear of Lan Kwai Fong, the scene of last year's New Year countdown tragedy, and flocked to other celebrations in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. Only a few hundred people gathered on the cobbled streets of Lan Kwai Fong, where wreaths marked the spot where 21 people were crushed to death a few minutes after midnight last year. Instead, tens of thousands crowded Victoria and Sha Tin parks at carnivals arranged to attract people away from the narrow streets of Central into safer areas. Tsim Sha Tsui's streets were packed with the biggest celebrating throng and two youths were arrested for throwing a firecracker shortly before midnight struck. But police said they were thrilled by the good behaviour on both sides of the harbour and said their policy of stopping people from drinking alcohol in the streets appeared to have helped. Hong Kong's first baby in 1994 was a girl born at United Christian Hospital five minutes after midnight. The 2.14 kilogram baby came as a surprise to the Leung family by arriving a month early. But the biggest roar in Lan Kwai Fong at midnight was feedback on the police public address system. Despite 8,500 people who poured on to the streets just before midnight there was little real celebration. By five past midnight - the time when the tragedy took place last year - crowds were already dispersing under the steady watch of more than 200 police guided by blaring loudhailer announcements. Mourners had stayed away but little celebration was seen. ''It's 10 past midnight and no one wish me happy New Year yet,'' said Kitty Leung Ho-man, 23. ''I came here looking for a safe party and it seems nobody was talking about what happened last year and it's strange nobody wanted to get too rowdy either.'' ''Everybody was just waiting for something to happen but nobody wanted to start anything. It's all too disciplined,'' she said. There was little reference to New Year at all with bars filled with mainly tourists and newcomers to Hong Kong drinking quietly. Scene commander, Chief Superintendent Cheung Chi-sum, said by 9.30 pm just 2,000 people were estimated to be inside bars and clubs and just 400 on the streets of Central's entertainment area. The evening had been calm and quiet, with people clearly choosing to go elsewhere to celebrate the New Year. ''We're confident our new pro-active approach is the right one,'' Mr Cheung said. Police restricted access to the area from Wyndham and Wellington streets using barriers and guards. Blankets and loudhailers could be seen stored at several corners. ''It's most odd tonight,'' said Andrew Wong Hung-fai, public affairs manager of Corner II, the complex which includes Acropolis - the bar next door to where many died last year. ''It's just a slow Friday. You'd never know it's New Year's Eve or last year was Christmas. It seems no one really wanted to party,'' he lamented. ''At least with all these police here, I now will be safe,'' said Greg Chan, a Canadian who, festooned with balloon kazoos and streamers, decided to meet friends at Times Square after dining in Lan Kwai Fong.