2012 arrives with a bang

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A packed Ripon Cathedral and over 4000 people enjoyed a firework display to welcome in the new year.

The event, which took place on the Market Square was organised by the Ripon Festivals.

Chairman Bernard Batemen said it was the best and largest attended new year event he could remember in the 13 years he has been involved in the organisation.

The New Year’s Eve programme started with the Mayor of Ripon Coun Mick Stanley and the Mayoress of Ripon Gill Stanley leading the annual procession of civic and military representatives, Freeman of the City, city councillors, past mayors and the civic list to the cathedral for the Watchnight Service conducted by the Dean of Ripon, The Very Rev Keith Dukes, Canon Puncheon and a sermon from The Rt Rev John Packer Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

The congregation were given candles for the Torchlight Procession up Kirkgate, an event which has taken place for many years, back to the Market Square where in excess of 4,000 people were welcomed by the mayor. A blessing was performed by the Bishop on the town hall balcony, with the Hornblower sounding the Horn to welcome in 2012.

A red, white and blue themed firework display lit up the sky.

From 10pm to 1pm there was a disco on the Market Place.

A collection was made by Rotary Rowels for the Army Benevolent Fund.

Coun Bateman said: “The whole event went off like clockwork with no problems. The behaviour of the young people on and around the Market Square was a tribute to the city.”