NO SERIOUS incident occurred during celebrations of the end of 2007 and the arrival of the new year in Bratislava, which changed into Partyslava again. The city council prepared a rich programme, which culminated with welcoming the New Year by Richard Rikkon on piano and fireworks, which unfortunately were drawn in dense fog.
The city council estimates that about 100,000 people gathered at the Main and Hviezdoslavovo squares, of which about 10,000 were foreigners. In the streets it was possible to hear Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, English, Italian, Austrian, as well as French. Blinking red and blue horns and huge coloured wigs were the hits of the celebrations. People listened and danced to the music performed by bands on two stages.
Shortly before midnight about 40,000 people gathered on the Danube embankment to see the fireworks show synchronized with music played by Rikkon on piano. But as last year, the dense fog prevented people from seeing something more than colourful blinks and clouds.
“What a pity, equally as the last year. Probably it is cursed,” spokesperson of the Bratislava city council Milan Vajda told the Sme daily.
Thousands of people met at main squares in cities across the country. Programmes depended on how much money city councils allocated for the celebrations. Citizens and visitors of Košice and Prešov were pleased because the towns prepared richer programmes for them than in previous years. In contrary, Žilina did not organise any programme due to bad experiences in the past.
The celebrations took one toll. In Humenné, 15-year old Rasťo fell to his death from the window of an apartment building, the Nový Čas daily wrote. The police ruled out homicide, so it was either accidental or suicide. Doctors found 1.5 promilles of alcohol in his blood - the equivalent of drinking 2.5 delititres - which would result in severe intoxication at his age.
14. Jan 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports