Events of the Programmes of “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009” and Commemoration of the Millennium of Lithuania’s Name attracted record numbers of people to the streets of the capital city on the New Year’s Eve. But welcoming of the New Year in Vilnius was particularly cultured and safe.
Festive events in the capital started several minutes before 11.00 p.m. near the Palace of Concerts and Sports of Vilnius where the residents and guests of Vilnius gathered to see the musicale “@Hoffman_Spragtukas” performed by about 150 performers on the multi-stage scene mounted behind the glass façade of the Palace. At midnight the sky above the Cathedral Square was illuminated by Gert Hof’s show of lights and music.
“Especially cultured and safe welcoming of the New Year in Vilnius was a result of large-scale preventive work and good preparation”, - said Raimundas Dervinskas, Deputy Head of the Chief Police Commissariat of Vilnius City. – “During the Christmas Tree Illumination Party in Vilnius this year more than 60 people were detained compared with only 15 people detained during the festive events of the New Year which usually attract by 3-4 times larger audience.
R. Dervinskas noted that alcoholic drinks or pyrotechnical goods were brought to the places of events only by few people. The number of individuals intoxicated with alcohol was also comparatively small. According to the officer, festive events of the New Year in the centre of Vilnius were observed by more than 50,000 of residents and guests of Vilnius.
On the New Year’s night the streets of Vilnius were additionally protected by 250 policemen on duty who were assisted by 70 security guards from the private security service. Fire-fighters and rescue teams and paramedics were also present at the places of main events – the Cathedral Square, its surroundings and near the Palace of Concerts and Sports of Vilnius. Pedestrian control posts were set up in the main streets of the Old Town.