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Around the World: Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Glorious Fireworks

Jennifer Merin on

Wherever in the world you happen to be heading for this coming New Year’s Eve, you can start 2018 with a great big celebratory bang by incorporating great fireworks viewing into your party schedule.

This year, as every year, there are numerous choices of destinations for people who want to experience the thrill of thunderous fireworks that spray sparkling lights across the night sky. In fact, because of time zone differences, you can actually follow the fireworks displays staged to welcome the new year as it dawns around the globe – just stay in one place and watch the exciting gala of flares, rockets and pinwheels shooting through the heavens to mark the beginning of what will hopefully be joyful year.

If you want to greet the new year in person when it first arrives, head for Australia. Because of its proximity to the International Date Line, Sydney’s New Year’s celebration – replete with gorgeous fireworks -- serves as the official kick off for 2018. If you’re in the Australian capital,  you get to be among the first to experience the first sparks of the new year.  

You may already have been impressed by images you’ve seen the fireworks illuminating Sydney Harbor Bridge as shown on television, but there’s nothing like being there in person for the thrilling display. This year’s magnificent event promises nonstop fireworks for about 15 minutes, with approximately 30,000 effects set off from the famous bridge, and from city buildings and numerous barges.  The best fireworks viewing spot is at Sydney Opera, architect Jorn Utson’s distinctive and beautiful building that defines Sydney’s cityscape. The display attracts a massive cheering crown.

Moving west to Europe, one of the world’s best New Year’s Eve fireworks displays is in Paris, where the night sky lights up around the Eifel Tower. Watch the show, then toast the New Year with champagne.

Following the New Year across the Atlantic to New York, you can see multiple fireworks displays staged around the city, and they’re all brilliantly celebratory. Best of all, getting to New York to see these world-class displays need not bust your holiday budget.

Watching the ball drop In New York City’s Times Square ball drop is arguably the world’s most famous New Year’s Eve event, and there’s always an elaborate pyrotechnic displays to thrill celebrants who join the Times Square party throng from 42nd to 49th Street. It’s free, but you have to get to Times Square by about 3 pm to claim your spot in the cordoned off area. Be prepared for tight security, and leave large handbags home or in the hotel.

There’s also a spectacular display about thirty blocks uptown in Central Park, with a show starting at midnight  near Bethesda Fountain on the 72nd Street transverse. The fireworks show follows the free dance party staged at the nearby Central Park Bandshell at 10 pm and a fun costume parade at 11 pm. Again, get there early to get a good spot.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, a fireworks display is set off in New York Harbor, from a barge positioned near the Statue of Liberty. You can see that one for free from South Street Seaport, or get a close up and exclusive view by boarding a local tour boat for a New York New Year’s Eve dinner and dance cruise – but be aware that the cruises are pricey, with tickets beginning at around $500 per person. The New York Harbor display is particularly spectacular because it’s set against the marvelous New York skyscape.

For travelers who have must keep their budget in mine, the fireworks display in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is free and absolutely awesome. The fireworks are shot off from the Long Meadow at midnight, and the best viewing spots include Grand Army Plaza, along Prospect Park West and 9th Street and on West Drive inside the park.

Or follow the New Year as it arrives at America’s party city, Las Vegas, where the world famous ‘strip’ that is so bright it can be seen from outer space is even brighter and more spectacular on New Year’s Eve because of the fireworks. Considered by many pyrotechnic cognoscenti as the best fireworks in the United States, Las Vegas’ New Year’s Eve blast is always staged by one of the world’s most famous and appreciated fireworks artists.  

The display generally includes more than 80,000 fireworks being launched from the rooftops of The Strip's casinos, with MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and The Stratosphere participating. The show is extraordinary and extravagant. This year, a crowd of more than 330,000 party goers is expected on The Strip to watch the fireworks for free, so make sure you get there in plenty of time to secure a good vantage point! Or you could opt for an awesome and exclusive overview of the event from Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower Experience – which sort of replicates what you might have seen had you been in Paris to greet 2018.


Copyright 2017 Jennifer Merin


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