London has welcomed 2017 with a fireworks display on the River Thames and a declaration from London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, that, “London is open.”
Up and down the country in every major city, New Year’s events took place. As is tradition, Hogmanay events in Edinburgh were extremely well attended, attracting overseas visitors from around the world. Four separate firework displays were used in Edinburgh to welcome the New Year.
Security throughout Britain had been increased for New Year due to the terror attacks in Nice and Berlin. Although no reports of attacks in Britain have surfaced, a deadly attack in Turkey which left around thirty five people dead was reported this morning.
As part of security measures traffic was banned from most events. Both the Nice and Berlin attacks involved the killers driving large trucks into crowds of people.
In London, the music of David Bowie and George Michael was remembered, and accompanied the firework display. Fifty thousand fireworks were used and lit up the city for twelve minutes. The theme of the Fireworks, according to the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan was “hope and optimism.”
He said, “We’ve always been a city open to talent, to people, to ideas and that is not going to change.”
As part of the celebrations singer Robbie Williams held a concert in Central Hall Westminster which was shown on the BBC. At midnight, the concert paused for the bells of Big Ben to signal the new year had begun. The concert resumed with Williams singing his own song, Angels, and the crowd pleaser New York, New York.
He made a touching tribute to George Michael covering his song Freedom which was Williams first release when he left the band Take That. “This is dedicated to the legendary George Michael.”
Despite the stronger and more visible police presence the celebrations have been deemed a success.