Thousands of people saw in the new year at several organised events in Hawke's Bay last night.

Fireworks thundered at the Napier Soundshell, lights dazzled at the Fiesta of Lights, 90s kids rocked at Paisley Stage and dancers revelled at the NYE Masquerade Ball.

Napier's Community New Year's Eve Celebration at the Napier Soundshell was enjoyed by people young and old.

The free family-friendly event had party-goers entertained by Ainslie Allen and her band supported by local talent Alex Richardson as well as the Thunder In The Sky fireworks display just after midnight.


Wellington woman Julie Vinay popped into the Napier event as part of a holiday with her mother who had come from France for the trip.

Ms Vinay said the duo were supposed to arrive in Hawke's Bay today but they were pleased to have made it to the New Year's celebrations last night.

"It's really cool, really nice and quite a big event."

Morris Porter came to Napier for a holiday with his family a few days ago and spent New Year's Eve at the soundshell because he had heard it was a fun event.

"It's a good family-friendly thing that we wanted to do over New Year's," he said.

The whole family would be starting fresh from this morning during their Hawke's Bay holiday and try to eat better throughout the year.

Napier resident Anne Woolrich said she had never attended before and loved the occasion so much she would be attending next time and would be telling all her friends and family to go too.

"It's better than I expected. A great, free concert."

Andy Stojanovich came on holiday with his wife to Napier for the first time and attended last night's show because he always tried to celebrate New Year's Eve in a public place wherever he was.

It was his first New Year's Eve as a non-smoker (something he gave up four months ago) and he had never felt better, he said.

Napier resident John O'Donnell said he came to the concert most years because he loved the atmosphere and watching people enjoy themselves.

The Fiesta of Lights, which has been on every night since December 16 at the Hawke's Bay A&P Showgrounds, held a special New Year's Eve family costume party with lights, entertainment, bands, street performers, slide, rides and fireworks.

People packed into the event to also enjoy the popular light display along a tree-lined trail surrounded by thousands of fairy lights.

The night was rocked away at the New Years Eve Temple of The Grunge N More event at Paisley Stage, Napier, with Temple of The Grunge and guest bands and singers playing hits from the 90s rock scene including Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins.

Paisley Stage owner James Rochester said yesterday evening he expected a full house of about 80 people there for a big party.

"It should be good, there'll be lots of 90s music," he said.

"We'll be playing until about 1am, it will be a pretty raucous party."

The NYE Masquerade Ball at the Taradale Club had guests enjoy a dinner and an evening of dancing.

People indulged in tango, swing, waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, new vogue, rock 'n' roll, salsa, bachata, chachacha and more until well after midnight.