Several high profile political and business leaders in the country Wednesday night stayed awake to see of the year 2008 and welcome 2009 in a gala that was organized by Kigali Serena Hotel.
Amongst the revellers who were accompanied by their families included Finance Minister James Musoni and the person voted Personality of the Year by The New Times, Rose Kabuye.
Guests were entertained by local artistes and DJ’s, as well as getting gifts from Rwandan corporate companies.
Companies including MTN, Finabank, Kigali Golf Club, Serena Hotel Kampala, Kivu Sun Hotel, Bourbon Café, ORTPN, among others availed different gifts ranging from umbrellas, phones, free trips, and free subscriptions to golf clubs.
As the last second of the year 2008 hit mid-night Wednesday, the guests were directed to the hotel’s balcony while others stepped outside the hotel to enjoy a moment of the eye-catching fireworks display at Serena Hotel.
Over one hundred guests hugged and cheered as they enjoyed 20 minutes of spectacular fireworks display that also attracted the attention of nearby residents.
Meanwhile thousands of Kigali residents flooded the streets, while Christians in their different churches also shouted Hallelujah as 2008 came to an end.
“I wouldn’t miss this celebration, I’m so excited,” one woman at Serena Hotel excitedly told her colleague.
“2008 has been a tough year for me, I am so happy it is over,” Regina Ndayizeye said.
James Rwagasana and friends drove from neighbouring Uganda to see how Rwanda celebrates New Year.
“We were all on our holidays, and we came up with an idea of coming here just like that and then the next minute we were on the road,” Rwagasana told The New Times.