Sydney Harbour foreshore erupted into a kaleidoscope of colour last night as the City’s biggest-ever fireworks display welcomed in the New Year.
More than one million people flocked to vantage points across the city to witness 20,000 fireworks launch from the coathanger of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and 800 pyrotechnic effects shoot high above the Sydney Opera House sails.
For the first time ever, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks were live streamed on Facebook, with viewers joining over one billion people tuning in on screens across the globe.
Destination NSW estimates the event contributes more than $133 million to the city’s economy.
“This year’s spectacular fireworks displays have proven, yet again, that Sydney is the best New Year’s Eve destination in the world,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Our celebrations have allowed us to showcase our fantastic city to the rest of the world, shining a light on our diverse community and sending a message of hope for the year to come.”
The 9pm Family Fireworks display enthralled audiences with floral-themed fireworks blossoming across the summer sky, before the harbour was doused in glittering violet droplets paying homage to music legend Prince.
The spectacular Midnight Fireworks display honoured David Bowie with a cluster of stars, quarter moons and Saturn-shaped shells inspired by Space Oddity.
Master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti, who directed the fireworks for the 20th year running, debuted never-before-seen candy coloured crackers in a tribute to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder, who also passed away earlier in the year.
A $290,000 event clean-up operation involved six teams of around 20 workers, along with 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors, and approximately 100 additional temporary bins.
The Lord Mayor thanked City of Sydney staff who worked through the night to ensure the city streets were sparkling clean this morning.
“As the crowds went home after a fantastic evening of celebrations, a dedicated team of 135 cleansing and waste staff collected about 60 tonnes of waste to return Sydney’s foreshore to mint condition,” the Lord Mayor said.
Cleansing and waste services team leader Sam Daddario was on site with a crew that began a nine-hour shift minutes after the final fireworks erupted from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“Our staff get a great sense of achievement from seeing their turf transform into a clean space after the celebrations have finished and everyone has gone home,” Mr Daddario, who has worked for the City of Sydney for almost a decade, said.
“Nearly three times the number of cleansing staff required on a normal day are needed for the New Year’s Eve clean-up. We all love working together to make sure the city looks its best after the biggest night of the year.”
All waste collected overnight has been transported to the SUEZ Artarmon facility, where around 90 per cent will be recycled.