“The party is a true art form in Sydney and people practise it a great deal. You can really get quite lost in it.” ~~~~Baz Luhrmann
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably seen a replay of Sydney’s firework extravaganza at the stroke of midnight on first day of January every year. It’s considered one of the first major cities of the world to welcome the new year. No one could dispute the fact that they pull out all the stops and show the world how fireworks should be done, celebrating like no other place in the world. We don’t know a lot of Aussies but it seems like they like to live out loud and do things in a big way, so it just seems appropriate that they have the world’s most famous New Year’s Eve celebration. I suppose lots of people get pumped about the ball dropping in Times Square but, let’s face it, it’s pretty much the same old same old year after year. The fireworks of Sydney are anything but.
Who’s up for a little history lesson? The first year that New Year’s Eve was designated an official Sydney “event” was 1976. At that time, it featured a boat parade, music, and a fireworks display. A few years later, the committee was inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge’s centennial celebration in 1983 when the bridge was used as the focal point and fireworks launch site for the celebration and the Sydney fireworks tradition was born.
Sydney’s celebration always has a theme and this year’s theme was “One Night: Many Ways to Celebrate.” As usual, there was the 9 pm family fireworks show and then the midnight blow out. This year, for the first time, the creative team put together a six hour AI generated light show that was projected onto the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. In my opinion, that was more of a miss than a hit; it wasn’t even close to being a highlight of the evening.
There were well over one million revelers ringing in the New Year in Sydney and probably most of the partiers were out-of-towners like us. The show was billed as Sydney’s biggest NYE fireworks show since 1918 and the midnight show was promised to be twenty minutes long. I don’t think it was quite that long, but it sure was fabulous. The locals probably had the good sense to just watch it on the telly. But at least we were very fortunate to have an incredible vantage point on the deck of The Jackson, which is described as Sydney’s newest superyacht. Multi-course dinner, plenty of libations, bands, loads of deck space – the Jackson had it all. The entire evening was quite an event and we could not have had a better vantage point for the fireworks shows. After the boat docked, we made the fifteen minute walk back to the Shangri-La Hotel and fell into bed at 2:15 AM. Rick has a cap somewhere around the house that says, “Probably Too Old to be Doing This.” That’s how we felt in the wee hours of 1 January 2024, but it was just a passing thought, but we have no regrets and scoff at the thought this morning.
We would never do it again, but last night was a night to remember!