Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Fireworks, great performances usher in 2020 at the waterfront

Published:Thursday | January 2, 2020 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
The New Year’s Eve celebrations came to end with Jason McDermott, aka Stylo G, closing the show on the waterfront.
Dancehall artiste Chi Ching Ching and his dancers lit up the stage during his performance at the New Year’s Eve celebration held on the waterfront in downtown kingston
Jamaican recording artiste Mortimer performs his hits on the waterfront.
Desha Ravas (left) performs with some youngsters.
The self-proclaimed ‘dancing gad’ Ding Dong gets up close and personal with his fans during his 20-minute set.
Fireworks light up the night sky.
Fireworks light up the night sky.
Luciano takes the stage.
The Strong One Etana performs some of her many hits at the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Fireworks light up the night sky as patrons ring in the New Year on the waterfront in downtown Kingston.

Fireworks on the Waterfront 2019 transformed the idyllic Ocean Boulevard, creating the illusion of being on a ship. The 18-year-old event was an adventure. And hundreds of Jamaicans came for the experience, themed ‘A Celebration of Development’.

Members of the Moulton family were among those who sat in the segment dubbed Front Row Experience. There were two other sections – General and Harbour Lounge.

It was the Moultons’ second experience. All three enjoyed Tuesday’s show and said it was lovely. Dad Milton thought it was the best of the shows he has attended, because he “had champagne, food and lots of music”, and said the fireworks were great. Daughter Jomilia echoed her father’s sentiments. However, Joan noted some difference to last year. There were fewer artistes, and the fireworks occurred on the stage.

The performers for the main segment were Jermaine Edwards, Etana, Ding Dong, Mortimer, Luciano, Chi Chi Ching and Stylo G. And according to Dale Brown, the bass player for the backing band, Seasonz, it was a good balance.

“The mix was quite good. There was dancehall, that was high-energy, roots music to put you in a reflective mood and prepare you for the year ahead. It’s a good balance.”

Brown has performed at previous shows, and observed growth in all areas of the production, “The running of the show, line-up of the artistes and the size of the crowd.”

The creatively designed and well-executed ship concept not only held the crowd in tact, but had a large stage. Perhaps in part to facilitate the fireworks that began with a surprise explosion a minute before midnight. It was followed with a sparkling outburst of golden lights on the stroke of midnight. Subsequently, the anticipated explosion from the harbour covered the night sky in splendour.

The fireworks were preceded by greetings from Minister of Culture, Gender and Sport Olivia Grange; Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams; and Heather Pinnock from the organisers, Urban Development Corporation. And after Luciano denounced negativity with songs such as Sweep Over My Soul, Ding Dong surprised some children with cash, and Chi Chi Ching had the crowd dancing. MCs Miss Kitty and Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis also added to the entertainment.

Stylo G was the closing act. He, too, thought the show was a perfect way to ring in the new year with family. He was pleased that “the kids were singing to my song. That’s the main thing”. And while he would not divulge his plans for 2020 – except to say, “We have more hard food in the kitchen, that’s what mi ah left you with.” – he admitted that he would be willing to perform at another Fireworks on the Waterfront.