1 January 2018

Well-behaved Canberra crowds welcome in the New Year

| Glynis Quinlan
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Canberra’s spectacular 9 pm fireworks display. Photo: Joanne Blake.

More than 35,000 revellers flocked to the city last night to take part in Canberra’s New Year’s Eve celebrations – enjoying free entertainment, a dance party and two spectacular fireworks displays.

Police report that the crowds were generally well-behaved but in the course of the evening nine people were arrested for being intoxicated and disorderly, seven young people were arrested for underage drinking and one person was arrested for a breach of the peace.

There was a large police presence in the city throughout the night targeting anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and road safety.

“The majority of crowds were in the city and enjoyed a fantastic celebration. We were pleased to see families and groups of friends enjoying the events and fireworks,” said Superintendent Stephen Turnbull.

Acting ACT Minister for the Arts and Community Events, Shane Rattenbury said the vibrant celebrations in Civic Square and Garema Place made for a spectacular start to 2018.

Canberra’s midnight fireworks display. Photo: Joanne Blake.

“It was fantastic to see more than 35,000 revellers flocking to the city to enjoy the fantastic line-up of free entertainment for all ages, food offerings and two firework displays,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Thousands of people were entertained in Civic Square by popular Sydney-based ‘electro indie’ band Art vs Science, supported by local artists Harry Carman, Brass Knuckle Brass Band and Exposure.

Headliners at Canberra's NYE celebrations - Sydney based band Art vs Science. Members Dan Mac, Jim and Dan W. Photo by Angelo-Kehiagos.

Headliners at Canberra’s NYE celebrations – Sydney-based band Art vs Science. Members Dan Mac, Jim and Dan W. Photo: Angelo-Kehiagos.

Crowds also filled Garema Place for Canberra’s biggest New Year’s Eve dance party ‘Bass in the Place’ which showcased local and national talent including Soul Sisters, DJ Clique, Peter Kiemann, Ember and Blanke.

However, in true New Year’s Eve fashion, it was the fireworks that attracted the biggest crowd attention. Fireworks Australia staged two state-of-the-art pyrotechnic displays at 9 pm and midnight, digitally-synchronised to soundtracks featuring well-known hits and crowd favourites.

On a more sober note, members of ACT Policing’s traffic team conducted 1400 roadside screening tests during New Year’s Eve and say they will continue to target drug and alcohol-impaired driving throughout the holiday period. Double demerit points remain in place until midnight tonight (January 1).

“Don’t risk getting behind the wheel today if you could still be affected by drugs or alcohol. Impaired drivers pose a serious risk to themselves and everyone else on the road. That is not a risk worth taking,” Superintendent Turnbull said.

Did you enjoy Canberra’s New Year’s Eve celebrations? Do you think the crowds were well-behaved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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