CHARLOTTETOWN – The official kickoff to the much anticipated PEI 2014 celebrations was a magical night to remember. Upwards of 4,000 people braved cold temperatures to take part in the PEI 2014 New Year’s Eve Outdoor Celebration along historic Great George Street and in front of Province House National Historic Site in the provincial capital.
© Stephen Harris
Crowds cheered as Canadian music superstar Johnny Reid brought the house down with a spirited, high energy performance at the P.E.I. Convention Centre for the 2014 New Year's Eve celebrations.
“We are thrilled with the success of the PEI 2014 New Year’s Eve Opening Celebration,” says Premier Robert Ghiz. “The response from Islanders and visitors alike was tremendous. We look forward to an inspiring and memorable celebration year right across Prince Edward Island.”
With the area completely lit in festive lighting, an enthusiastic and celebratory mood filled the air. Islanders and visitors of all ages enjoyed a free, family-friendly event which included performances by Rawlins Cross and Meaghan Blanchard, astounding busker routines by world class buskers, a spectacular ice garden created by members of Canada’s Ice Sculpting Team, old-fashioned wagon rides, and the largest fireworks display in Atlantic Canada.
"The City of Charlottetown was thrilled to have co-presented the outdoor portion of the New Year's Eve family celebration with PEI 2014 Inc.," said Mayor Clifford Lee. "The exciting atmosphere all along Great George Street and surrounding areas will live on through the many memories shared by those who attended the festivities, which was also marked by a wonderful start to 2014 year-long celebrations."
Just a few blocks away over 2,700 concert goers rang in the New Year with Canadian music superstar Johnny Reid at the brand new P.E.I. Convention Centre. Reid brought the house down with a spirited, high energy performance that proved to be the perfect lead up to the new year’s countdown at midnight.
P.E.I.’s own Lennie Gallant set the tone earlier in the evening with performances of rousing fan favourites such as "Peter’s Dream".
Following Reid’s performance, Island dance band More Soul kept concertgoers on the dance floor and in a celebratory mood well into the night.
"As Islanders, we have a lot to be proud of and being the birthplace of Confederation is certainly one of them,” said the Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans and MP for Egmont. “I am very proud that in addition to a memorable year of celebrations, our government’s support for the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference will build the path towards our national celebration in 2017."
The PEI 2014 celebrations will include more than 150 festivals, events and activities taking place throughout Prince Edward Island all year long. For more information, visit www.pei2014.ca.
“Atlantic Lottery - Red Shores are thrilled to be the official presenting partner for the year-long PEI 2014 celebrations,” says Michael MacKinnon, managing director of Red Shores. “We are confident that the New Year’s Eve kickoff is indicative of the fabulous 12 months of celebrations ahead. We look forward to the many exciting events including Canada Day, the PEI 2014 Celebration Zone and Founders Week, just to name a few.”
In 2014, Canadians will mark the 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way to Confederation. PEI 2014 Inc. is facilitating the planning, promotion and implementation of the Sesquicentennial celebrations.