HUNDREDS of Fijians and tourists gathered at Albert Park in Suva yesterday to celebrate Fiji Day.
The official celebrations in Suva involved a military parade and a 21-gun salute attended by President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, diplomats and government officials.
The military parade left the silent crowd mesmerised, as they took in the beautiful military and naval uniforms and the precise steps of the marcher.
The two women soldiers who led two of the platoons received enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.
The beginning of the 21-gun salute caught most people by surprise but this did not last long as the crowd showed their appreciation with cheers and claps, competing with car alarms set off by the loud salutes.
The overcast weather did not deter the crowd as they ended the celebration with entertainment from various dance groups and the military band.
Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni was the chief guest at the celebrations in Levuka.
The event began with a tour around the historical town and a march from the Post Office Square to the Deed of Cession site in Nasova.
Jone Usamate, the Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment officiated at the celebrations in Nausori.
This was marked with a flag-raising ceremony.