Glasgow: Pop star Kylie Minogue was the star performer in a glittering closing ceremony as curtains came down on the 20th Commonwealth Games where India finished a creditable fifth with 64 medals even as a couple of officials embarrassed the contingent by their antics.
IN PICS: Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony
In presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and vice patron of Commonwealth Games Federation, declared the Glasgow 2014 closed as a representative of the head of the Commonwealth to mark the end of the biggest sporting extravaganza Scotland has ever hosted.
"Every four years, these Games bring the spirit of our Commonwealth alive. I called sportsmen and women from all nations and territories of the Commonwealth to come together in four years` time to celebrate the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in Australia. Until then, in the name of Commonwealth Games Federation, I proclaimed the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games closed," he said.
Colourful fireworks on a cloudy night skyline signalled the end of the 11-day competition among 4929 athletes from 71 countries and territories of the erstwhile British Empire. More than 2,000 volunteers sang and danced to the tunes of Scottish singers in front of a packed crowd which joined the show largely of laser light and sound at the Hampden Park National Stadium.
The athletes were ushered in at the beginning of the show and remained at the field for the entire one-and-a-half hour show, many taking part and enjoying the rock concert like atmosphere.
The Indian contingent, led by flag bearer Seema Punia, who won a silver in women`s discus throw, took part in the closing ceremony, all of them wearing track suits. The contingent had been left red-faced after IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and an unattached wrestling referee Virender Malik were arrested.
While Mehta is accused of drunken driving, Malik faces the more serious charge of sexual assault.
CGF chief Prince Imran described the Glasgow 2014 as the best ever Games. "Scotland and Glasgow, you have really delivered in every aspect the best Games ever," he said in his brief speech to the applause of the crowd. "We have seen superb sporting action supported by fantastic organisation. Glasgow you were pure, dead brilliant."
Rhythmic gymnast from Wales, Francesca Jones, who won one gold and five silver, was awarded the David Dixon Award for the best athlete in the Glasgow Games.
CGF chief Prince Imran presented the award to her. Minogue's performance symbolised the transfer of baton to Australia's Gold Coast, which will host the 21st edition from April 4-15, 2018.
The show, with the theme 'All Back To Ours', opened with Scottish singer and actress Lulu coming out onto the star-shaped stage amid a mass of tents around the National Stadium at hampden Park and belting her famous 'Shout'. Suddenly the athletes came out of the tents to the amazement of the crowd and Lulu continued with her 'Shout' with volunteers joining her. Glasgow legends 'Deacon Blue' took the centre stage belting out their famous song 'Dignity', which tells the story of an ordinary man -- a worker. The workers of Glasgow was given pride of place with 220 of them entering the stadium carrying 'Let Glasgow Flourish' banner while Deacon Blue lead singer Ricky Ross asking the crowd to join him.
A fleet of assorted council vehicles, led by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, appeared from another gate and Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde was in one of these vehicles.
Then, Glasgow rock band Prides hit the stage and they sang 'Messiah' to set the scene for thousands of Glasgow 2014 volunteers, known as clyde-siders, gathered around the CGF flag pole, before two pipe bands take their turn to show the more traditional Scottish culture. In a spectacularly choreographed sequence, the performers began to clear the field of play and the tents were gradually moved to the side before the festival site was transformed into a huge star around the Star Stage for the dignitaries present to speak according to the protocol.
Representatives of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo entered the stadium playing 'Wi a Hundred Pipers' followed by 'The Bloody Fields of Flanders'. Lord Kelvin Smith KT, the chairman of the organising committee, and CGF chief Prince Imran gave their speeches to the Commonwealth. The CGF flag was lowered by two members of the tri-force military party, accompanied by Robert Burns song 'Ae Fond Kiss' sung by Karen Matherson. Seventeen athletes, each representing their country, formed an avenue of national flags down which the CGF flag travelled before it was folded by a tri-force military party.
Glasgow 2014 representatives handed the flag back to the CGF, which entrusted it to the representatives of Gold Coast, the Australian city which will host the Games from April 4-15, 2018. Then the final moment came with the Earl of Wessex, the third son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburg, declaring the 2014 Commonwealth Games closed with a colourful fireworks adorning the cloudy Glasgow sky.
The rock concert-like party continued with Minogue performing on her seven songs one after another, beginning with the 'Look' with a playful love story scene during a typical night out in Glasgow as the backdrop. Stand-up comedian Des Clarke came out of a tent with Team Scotland's Scotty Dog 'Hamish' and introduced Minogue on the stage. Minogue began with 'Spinning Around' with volunteers and athletes joining the dance party. After her famous numbers Into the Blue, Love at First Sight, All the Lovers, The Locomotion, and Beautiful, the mirror balls rose up around the stadium and confetti filled the field.
The stage was then left for Dougie Maclean, one of Scotland's finest singer-songwriters, to belt out the hugely popular 'Caledonia' before a lone piper blew Robert Burns song 'Auld Lang Syne' from the stadium roof as the final fireworks began. A comet tail firework travelled through the crowd to mark the end of the colourful ceremony.