Close to 7000 people packed The Square in Palmerston North to dance their way into 2014, as organisers praised the behaviour of both revellers and Mother Nature.
Lancewood events manager Karen Heaphy, who organised the concert, had been advising people to prepare for all possible weather but instead the city turned on a cool, clear night for celebrations.
"It's been brilliant, we were actually really worried about rain, but we've been very lucky - the weather gods have smiled on us this time," Mrs Heaphy said.
The 2011 New Year's Eve concert was cancelled due to a poor forecast and 2012's crowd was lower than expected because of night-time drizzle.
"We were definitely down on people last year because of the weather, but this year we're back to what we had in the past, probably 7000 or 8000 in total, and it's great to see," Mrs Heaphy said.
Cover-band The Monroes delivered some Gun ‘n' Roses and Icona Pop to the crowd in the lead-up to midnight while the St John Ambulance in The Square got busier as the clock ticked down.
It was the fireworks show off the council building at midnight that brought the biggest applause of the night.
There were a few in the crowd who had caused trouble, but the vast majority had been well behaved, Mrs Heaphy said.
Thousands of kids who weren't old enough to stay up until midnight welcomed in 2014 with their parents at the kids' countdown about 10pm.
Among them were Hamish Templeton, 11, and brother Nathan, 8.
"The best part was the live music," Hamish said. For Nathan, nothing could compare to the big bang of the fireworks that came with the kids' countdown.
The pair now had resolutions in 2014 to "be good to our parents".
Palmerston North man Richard Atkinson said the organisation of the night had again been fantastic and it was great to see children having an opportunity to feel the thrill of a New Year at a public event.
For Rob Easton of Levin the concert was his first New Year in Palmerston North and he said the celebrations had been impressive, although The Katy Perry Show was "not quite what I had expected".
As they toasted the end of a successful 2013 at the concert, Paul Titus and Hickson Lowe were drafting resolutions to make 2014 even better.
"I'm keen to build some new relationships and hopefully have a breakthrough in finance and business," Mr Lowe said.
"I'm quitting coffee," Mr Titus said.
Police who had a specific focus to crack down on breaches of the liquor ban at the event dealt with "a little bit of rats and mice stuff" but generally behaviour was good, Palmerston North Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said.
Outside of the event Manawatu police were kept busy with "general New Year's Eve business" but by midnight there had been few arrests, police central communications spokesman Marty Parker said.
Over in Tararua, staff working the new year nightshift at Dannevirke McDonald's had the distraction of a car crashing through their front window at 7.42pm. No-one was injured and McDonald's staff were not allowed to comment on the incident.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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