Vancouver rings in 2016 with fireworks, free concert

Vancouverites flocked to Canada Place for the city's first public New Year's Eve celebration in more than a decade last night.

Police stepped up their presence, but say event went smoothly

The first public New Years celebration and fireworks in a decade was a huge success. 0:42

Vancouverites flocked to Canada Place for the city's first public New Year's Eve celebration in more than a decade last night.

Spirits were high, as revellers packed into the area around the Convention Centres, Thursday night.

Bands played for the crowd to pass the time before the midnight countdown, and people discussed their plans and resolutions for 2016.

Dave Rowan came downtown from Chilliwack. He had a couple ideas for the New Year.

"Lose a little weight, go a little faster at racing," said Rowan, who mud races for fun. "I drive a truck called Frankenstein."

"2015 was good. Business was good. Everything was good, can't complain," he added. "It can only get better."

Tej Dhaliwal said 2015 was "a blast," but he had even higher hopes for 2016, and a simple resolution.

"My New Year's resolution is just to be a better person."

Rajdeep Atwal had the same resolution as Dhaliwal: "My New Year's resolution is to be a better person, and kind of pass on best wishes to everyone."

​'Well behaved' crowd

Vancouver police chief Adam Palmer was enjoying the fireworks from the VIP section at Canada Place. He said the event went smoothly for officials, and demonstrated that Vancouver could be a "fun city."

"It's been really good. The crowds we were expecting were around 15,000, but we've had much more than that — tens of thousands. So bigger crowd, but really good crowd," said Palmer, who added that the fireworks displays in the summer can draw hundreds of thousands of people to the downtown area.

Vancouver police increased its presence for the festivities, but Palmer said, fortunately, officers were able to stick to a largely 'meet-and-greet' role, as they mingled with the crowd in small teams. 

"Yeah we've had some liquor pour-outs, to be expected. When you've got a large crowd, you get some people that bring down alcohol. But generally speaking, it's been a pretty well behaved group, and everybody's having a good time enjoying the New Year's Eve celebrations," said Palmer.


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