JANUARY 1 2017 – 3:24AM
Whether they loved 2016 or loathed it, Canberra’s New Year’s revellers were keen to give the year that was a massive send-off.
With a countdown and a cacophony of sound and light, a year of political upsets, sporting underdog triumphs and the celebrity curtain calls disappeared.
Nobody yet knows what the New Year will bring, but the unpredictability of the last 12 months left few in the Canberra crowd willing to name a resolution for 2017.
Those mentioned included a roll call of the classics: working less, travelling more, losing weight and gaining better school grades.
“People call me the Michelin man,” West Australian visitor Hamid Sheriff said, pointing at his belly.
“It’s the resolution every year.”
Thousands of tourists and locals alike flocked to the city to watch the two sets of fireworks — the child-friendly 9pm show and the main event at midnight.
Bronwyn Evans brought her family, made up of locals and interstate visitors, to see the spectacle.
“We came last year with one of our children from Melbourne, so we thought we’d bring the other grandchildren who are visiting from Brisbane and Adelaide this time,” the Jerrabomberra resident said.
Most revellers watched the fireworks from Civic Square, though parks, plazas and apartment balconies brimmed with spectators as well.
The Potbelleez headlined the free concert at Civic Square, joining the Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Nostalgia and Heuristic.
A short walk down the City Walk, Bass in the Place took over Garema Place, as Tyson, Exposure, Odd Mob and BNDR helped revellers party their way into 2017.
Bars, pubs and nightclubs buzzed as party animals raged well into the night.
Themed nights were popular, including a speakeasy party at QT Canberra and the “Dick Tracy and The Beer Factory” at Bentspoke, which transformed its upper floor to resemble a scene from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Restaurants across the city, meanwhile offered set menus and cocktails in quieter surroundings.
Police were out in force and targeted anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and dangerous driving.
ACT Policing Criminal Investigations Superintendent Ben Cartwright said police would focus on the roads on New Year’s Day as well.
“Safety on our roads will be a strong focus for police, with dedicated patrols targeting all drivers who disobey the road rules across the ACT,” he said.
“If you have a big night, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover before getting behind the wheel the next day.”
Source : The Canberra Times