2006: Here we go
By JENNIFER HUXLEY
A LONE piper's impromptu performance of Auld Lang Syne captured the imaginations of Yamba New Year's Eve revellers as his tune heralded the dawning of 2006.
Gunnedah man and accomplished piper David Walker serenaded the crowd from his vantage point near the cenotaph overlooking Yamba's Main Beach, delighting the masses with his accompaniment of the midnight fireworks display.
At Yamba and elsewhere in the Clarence Valley friends embraced, lovers kissed, blokes shook hands and teenagers texted madly to their brethren possibly not 10 metres away: Everyone was in party mode as the arrival of the new year was marked in pyrotechnic glory.
Not only did the Valley welcome 2006 in admirable style but celebrations were reported to have been carried off without a hitch. Police reported excellent crowd behaviour.
According to Chief Inspector Darren Spooner the focus for the evening was for police to maintain high visibility to prevent a repeat of the poor behaviour by revellers in previous years.
"Those attending the coast should be congratulated on enjoying the night, rather than being involved in violent and anti-social behaviour," he said.
"Behaviour like this was not evident last night. Of course there were those who didn't heed the warning or didn't possess the necessary intelligence to just behave and have a good time and these individuals were dealt with expediently."
Party hot-spot the Pacific Hotel Yamba reported a full house with tickets selling out mid-morning for the night-time festivities.
Bar attendant Sophia Price said the night was a 'great success' with the crowd comprising mainly of tourists from 'all over'.
"The music got the crowd amped, everyone had a really good night and we had such a great view of the fireworks from here. Everyone was really well behaved apart from a few streakers on the beach at midnight," Ms Price said.
The coastal towns of Minnie Waters, Wooli and Brooms Head all reported smaller and more subdued crowds than previous years.