Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Thousands of people converged on the Kingston Waterfront to say goodbye to 2012 and usher in the new year with their friends and loved ones on Monday night.
The annual New Year's Eve event was organised by the Urban Development Corporation and saw telecommunications giant Digicel and Scotiabank getting on board as partners to stage Fireworks on the Waterfront 2012. The event supported the promotion of downtown Kingston as the place of choice for business or pleasure.
A large section of Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston was used as the venue for the celebration. It was nicely decorated with an elevated stage at one end. There were neatly arranged tents, accompanied by a variety of rides for children.
Throughout the night, the stage was alive with performances by artistes such as Romain Virgo and Busy Signal, entertaining Jamaicans of various ages.
Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna also addressed the nation and reflected on 2012 as a special year due to the fact that Jamaica celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation.
The highlight of the festivities was at midnight, however, and all eyes look to the sky as the year 2013 came with a kaleidoscope of colours packaged in the form of fireworks which lit up the sky for 15 minutes. Spectators were delighted as they looked on in amazement.
Sharon Barnes, a 44-year-old resident from Waltham Park, said she was elated to have welcomed the new year with her two sons by the waterfront for the fifth year running.
"Every year, my children look forward to coming here. From December start, dem just keep asking if we are coming here, and with a show like what we just saw - and definitely, the fireworks - I don't see why not. Every year, it gets better and better and I am already looking forward to next year," she said.