NSW kicked off the New Year in a somewhat subdued fashion, heading into 2022 with a small crowd watching its iconic fireworks display in Sydney Harbor.
The sky exploded in color at midnight to ring in the New Year and end the state’s third consecutive day with a record number of coronavirus cases.
While crowds exceeding one million were the norm in years past, organizers expected numbers to drop amid the latest outbreak.
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said on Friday that fewer people would be out on New Years Eve, instead of “taking personal responsibility for their own health and making the conscious decision to stay at home”.
About 17,000 tickets had been issued to view from one of Sydney’s six vantage points.
The fireworks began with the 9pm Welcome to Country, hosted by artist Koori and creative consultant Blak Douglas, followed by a performance featuring local First Nations musicians Barkaa and Dobby which ended with the delivery of a message by the Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.
Tickets remained available as the night wore on, as others watched from the balconies of apartment buildings and nearby hospitality venues as well as ships in the harbor.
Those who arrived on a summer night in the 22C. otherwise ideal were treated to exhibitions that lived up to the mayor’s earlier promise.
âThe New Year’s Eve celebration in Sydney is one of the largest and most technologically advanced fireworks in the world,â Moore said on Friday.
“It promotes Australia and our beautiful city on the world stage.”
Over 80,000 pyrotechnics and 25,000 effects of fire requiring 60 tons of equipment to launch were sent into the skies under the experienced leadership of Fortunato Foti, who celebrated his 25th birthday at the helm of the fireworks display.
Sydney’s electronic music duo, The Presets, made the soundtrack to the stage as fireworks were launched from Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Opera House sails and barges across the harbor.
The display culminated with the iconic “waterfall effect” that shoots fire from the bridge into the water as the fireworks continue to rise into the sky above.
While attention was focused around the harbor, it wasn’t the only place to see fireworks in central Sydney on New Years Eve.
A considerably smaller number of fireworks could be seen exploding just over Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills around 11 p.m. without the spice and possibly the proper permits from the harbor show.
Australian Associated Press