ACT News

Capital's New Years fireworks and shows 'lead the nation'

Thousands of glowing revellers and buzzing families have flocked to civic to welcome 2016 with a unique celebration of fireworks and stage shows.

Katrina Newitt, Peter Vast and children Yasmine, Johann and Liewella were almost as bright as the firework display as they waved their proud collection of glow sticks.

Celebrating New Years Eve at Civic Square in Canberra are from left, Yasmine Newitt,11 of Holt, Peter Vast of Holt, ...
Celebrating New Years Eve at Civic Square in Canberra are from left, Yasmine Newitt,11 of Holt, Peter Vast of Holt, Katrina Newitt of Holt, Llewella Yabsley,10 and Johann Yabsley,12 both of Page.  Photo: Melissa Adams

"I just love glow sticks," Katrina, from Holt, said.

"Mine was supposed to be a hat, but it went a bit wrong so it turned into a crown."

Common New Year's resolutions for 2016 included spending more time with family, sharing the love and making peace.

"This year I want to be nicer to my mum," eleven-year-old Yasmine said.


Johann's wish was a little larger than himself. "I hope for world peace," he said.

Canberran Charlene Frizza said her first New Year's Resolution was to actually succeed at one for once, and the second was to make more time for her kids.

Families have also travelled from interstate to enjoy the capital's celebrations - some to search for a larger crowd and others for the opposite.

Dubbo's Marcus Kershaw reckons New Year's Eve in Canberra is much more lively than back at his home.

"I like how friendly the city is and there is so much for families to do here tonight," he said.

Where as Melbourne couple Jeff and Susan Osterlund, who have travelled to Canberra for several New Years,' think it's a "nice and quiet place to come to".

"We are enjoying these bands, the atmosphere, and are ready to bring on the new year," Susanne said.

The bands performing in Civic Square include Melbourne band Saskwatch and local bands Los Chavos and The Advocates.

The Garema Place dance party  featured DJs Jake Raven, Hudak and Felixx, while Tigerlily, best known for her song Paradise, is on the decks in the lead up to midnight.

Australia Fireworks director Martin Brady said while a modest population prevents Canberra from having the biggest show in the country, we're leaders in our integrated display.

"For Canberra, I think we are right up there with the technology and the presentation of the fireworks compared to everywhere else," Mr Brady said.

"Because we have the live band stage show, the video, lighting and the fireworks linked to a live music track, the integrated multimedia is brilliant."

A new firework has been added to tonight's display over City Hall at midnight, which Mr Brady called the Rainbow Ghost Shell. A shell bursts into a large sphere that's overtaken by a colour-changing Mexican wave.

There are also some spectacular Christmas-coloured flames igniting on the roof behind the stage during the show.

Helena Cataldo from Events ACT said crowds had been steadily growing throughout the 11 years of new Year's Celebrations.

"It is a good mix of young people and families at the alcohol free event," she said.

"It gives an opportunity to have local talent and for Canberra to foster and support its own community".

New Year's Eve Operation Commander Superintendent Ben Cartwright said police are heavily patrolling the area, targeting antisocial behaviour and underage drinking.

Temporary road closures are in place on London Circuit between Northbourne Avenue and Akuna Street from until about 2am.

For the fireworks display, Vernon Circle between the north and south intersections with London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue  closed  between 11.40pm to 12.30am. Theatre Lane, behind the Canberra Theatre, will also be closed.

ACTION will run its Nightrider bus service again this year. Buses depart from Platform 7 at City bus station from midnight onwards, heading to all suburbs.

The price is $5 a ride, cash only.