SYDNEY: Sydney will kick-start the global New Year’s Eve party with its biggest fireworks display ever, but fear of militants group attacks has cast a pall with Brussels scrapping celebrations and many cities tightening security.
The show from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Australia’s largest city is traditionally the world’s first major event to ring in the New Year.
Despite safety concerns, organisers are expecting a one million plus crowd before the chimes of midnight move across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and finally the Americas.
“It just keeps getting better every year,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said of the Aus$7 million (US$5.1 million), 12-minute fireworks extravaganza.
The 2016 theme is “City of Colour” and seven tonnes of fireworks will go up in smoke, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual “pyrotechnics effects” under forecasts of a fine summer night sky.
Acknowledging Australia’s Aboriginal culture, a “welcome to country” indigenous ceremony will also be marked through images projected on the bridge’s pylons.