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A world of excitement as New Year welcomed in

 

By Lucinda Cameron

Tens of thousands of people gathered last night to welcome in the New Year at one of the world's biggest street parties against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

The city's Hogmanay celebrations went ahead as planned despite the city experiencing some terrible weather conditions brought by Storm Dylan earlier on in the day.

Princes Street, where the celebrations took place, was temporarily closed to pedestrians in the afternoon due to "weather-related debris" but was open again for last night's street party.

The firm Underbelly, which produced the event for the first time, was expecting 75,000 people to attend, with live music, DJs, street entertainment and the "ultimate fireworks display" from Edinburgh Castle.

People from around the world travelled to Edinburgh to enjoy the atmosphere of the street party, which also featured street performers, dancers, acrobats and fire-eaters.

Jack Kozak and his mother Cynthia had come from Atlanta, Georgia, to experience the event as a way of celebrating his graduation.

Ms Kozak said: "We've heard that nowhere in the world does New Year's Eve celebrations like Scotland, and Edinburgh specifically. We went to Friday's torchlight procession and it was amazing, so everything we've seen so far is pretty incredible."

Her son added: "It's a lot more than what we do in the States, where we just shoot off a few sparklers in the back yard!" While Belfast had no organised fireworks display, thousands enjoyed a rare Sunday night out in the city's pubs and hotels.

Many more joined the growing trend to ring in the New Year at home with family and friends. Meanwhile, in Dublin there were not one but two countdowns as part of the New Year's Eve Festival. The Liffey Lights Midnight Moment outside the Customs House on George's Quay heralded the New Year at midnight. But a special countdown at the same venue earlier in the evening to appeal to families with young children was entitled the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee.

Acrobats spiralled through the night sky attached to giant helium balloons.

Flyboarders performed aquatic and aerial stunts on the river before enthralled city centre crowds.

Belfast Telegraph

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