Slow start to New Year celebrations in city

The lower Octagon was closed off to traffic for New Year's Eve. Photo: Andrew Marshall
The lower Octagon was closed off to traffic for New Year's Eve. Photo: Andrew Marshall
New Year's Eve celebrations were off to a fairly quiet start in Dunedin's Octagon, but by mid evening revellers had started to fill the city's bars.

About 8pm most of the venues in the city centre street-side tables had been claimed by groups sharing a few final celebratory beverages to see off 2021.

Inside, steady streams of punters kept the bars busy, although seats were still available for newcomers.

A few families were milling around the city centre, some queuing for gelato while others chatted among themselves.

Earlier in the evening, business had been quieter than what is usual on a Friday night in the city.

A mild night was forecast for those staying up for midnight, with cloud cover preventing too much heat dissipating for an overnight forecast low temperature of 14degC.

Despite cancelling the city's official celebrations and fireworks, the Dunedin City Council had still closed the lower half of the Octagon to traffic for the safety of revellers.

New nightspot Eleven Bar and Club, which first opened earlier in December, had taken full advantage of the closed roads.

It had taken over the entire footpath in front of the club for a fenced street-side table area.

 

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