Fireworks rocked the skies at various beaches, recreational parks and other entertainment spots in Mombasa where thousands of Kenyans and international visitors gathered to usher in the New Year 2023.
It was pomp and colour as Christian faithful jammed various worship places for special prayers, while revelers thronged restaurants and other popular joints dancing and drinking the night away into the New Year.
The Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach and Mama Ngina Waterfront Park were packed to capacity as early as 4pm, Saturday, by thousands of jubilant Kenyans and foreign tourists.
At exactly 12mid-night, screams from elated crowds rented the air as fireworks lit the skies to usher in the new dawn.
The celebrations went on smoothly as police ensured that there was adequate security at the beaches, churches and other popular spots that were frequented by visitors and other revelers.
“We have deployed enough security personnel to ensure Kenyans and foreign visitors enjoy the festive season in a peaceful environment,” said John Otieno, the outgoing Mombasa County Commissioner.
Otieno who has been promoted to a Regional Commissioner in North Eastern, said uniformed and plain clothed police officers made patrols in public spaces such as shopping malls, places of worship and beaches.
“We must thank God for taking us this far, we are grateful to witness the New Year and looking forward to great things,” said Janet Jawambe, a hotelier in Mombasa.
Jawambe said despite the current economic hardship, it was encouraging to see Kenyans embracing the concept of domestic tourism and exploring the various historical sites and other popular destinations.
Most of the hotels in Mombasa and other parts of the Coast region recorded 100 per cent bookings, following an upsurge of domestic and international visitors during the December and New Year festivities.
By Mohamed Hassan