Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve Fireworks, San Francisco, 2008!

Exploding red balls sent fiery glows across the New Year sky, a fountain of sparkles rose up and cascaded golden rain over the Bay, a spangled rainbow arched low over the water and gold strands tipped with purple stars shimmered in the night air.

They were just some of the brilliant fireworks at the Embarcadero last night as San Francisco entered 2009!

It was a fantastic display of fiery bursts of stars and droplets in a galaxy of patterns, plumes, spirals and whorls, that streaked, wriggled, floated and flitted across the night sky. And in a multitude of colours. There was orange and scarlet, gold and silver, purple, yellow, reds, blues and greens

At times huge explosions sent flickers of colour high into the sky, muted by the hovering fog.

That endearing feature of San Francisco, the fog, hung overhead but stayed sufficiently high to allow most of the fireworks to be seen by the celebrating crowd who amassed, south of the Ferry Building, as far down as the Bay Bridge.

Across the bay, dinner-cruise ships festooned with lights, and smaller boats formed a glimmering backdrop as they floated in a long line.

Though we are nearly the last in the world to celebrate - it was 6 am here when Sydney produced their annual extravaganza and 4 pm when London's fireworks exploded over the Thames - we are not the least!

But we are some of the last major cities in the world to celebrate New Year, along with other Californian cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Seattle in Washington State, and Vancouver.

To help with the celebrations, San Francisco provided free public transport with MUNI trains and buses for its revellers from 8 pm to 6 am. Extra services were also put on.

With three hours still to go till the whole world had entered the New Year, next were Alaska and the Gambier Islands, then the Marquesas Islands, followed by Hawaii, Cook, Tahiti, and the most western town of the USA, Adak in Alaska.

Finally, were Niue, Samoa and American Samoa.

First in line, officially, is Caroline Island, an uninhabited atoll in the Pacific, which came to fame at the New Millenium festivities.
But the first celebrations are on Christmas Island, known as Kiritimati in Gilbertese.

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