Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

Last night my wife and I headed over to Ottawa City Hall to check out the 2nd annual Hogmanay celebration presented by the The Scottish Society of Ottawa.  After hearing about and seeing the results of last year's Hogmanay celebrations at Ottawa City Hall, we thought we would actually go and take a peak.

We got off the bus at the Mackenzie King Bridge station behind the Rideau Centre and ventured toward Ottawa City Hall.  From the Mackenzie King Bridge Ottawa City Hall was colourfully lit up for the Christmas Season. 

Ottawa City Hall lit up for Christmas Season

There was some to do at City Hall.  First, in front of city hall was the usual slap your skates on and enjoy the Rink of Dreams ice with fully lit up neon lit boards.  

Rink of Dreams

Still outside of City Hall, near the Rink of Dreams, was an outdoor stage to be used after 9 P.M. for an outdoor concert until shortly before midnight followed by fireworks lit from the roof of City Hall. It being one of the coldest nights in Ottawa in 2013, we decided to skip this part, so no fireworks for us that night.

Inside were six foot long tables lining each side of the hallway of City Hall with things for kids to do. Also, on these tables were displays of Scottish heritage information explaining what exactly a Hogmanay is.

At 6 P.M. the events inside were to start at the indoor stage set up in Jean Pigott place.  First up of course was a short introduction followed by the Glengarry Pipe Band.   The pipers and drummers lined up outside the council chamber to receive instructions and march in. 

Glengarry Pipe Band receiving instructions.

The unfortunate part of the evening was the phone I was taking pictures with died as the Glengarry Pipe Band was marching into Jean Pigott Place to play.  But at least I caught some of the video. 

We left City Hall looking to check out what was happening on Sparks Street.  Tried first entering Sparks Street from Elgin Street only to be faced with high blue metal fencing and what appeared to be the back of a stage area.  This was understandably a back entrance for performers and others.  So we walked around to Wellington Street and Metcalfe, admired the Christmas lights on Parliament Hill, and reattempted.  Nope, more high blue fencing accompanied by large yellow burly looking security guards.  

One last crack at it by going down to O'Connor and Sparks Street via Wellington Street.  At Wellington and O'Connor we were met by a bubbily female security guard who was guarding a traffic barrier and only letting in authorized vehicles.  We explained our plight of trying to get to Sparks Street after noticing more blue fencing further down on O'Connor.  She replied we could go in via O'Connor and the blue fencing we saw as on the south side of Sparks Street.  We walked along there to Sparks Street.  

At the intersection of Sparks Street and O'Connor was a large crane with maple leaf light box attached to it.  Looked like a pretty lame attempt to recreate the ball drop of New York City's Time Square.  But word is that a permanent structure will be built somewhere on the street hopefully to make it look better.  We continued to walk eastward along Sparks towards Metcalfe where there didn't seem to be a whole lot going on yet.  Being cold, we decided to skip the return to City Hall for the 7 P.M. New Years Eve countdown for Scotland's new year and headed home and enjoyed the movie This is 40 along with popcorn and warm cup of tea.

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