Wellington all go for fireworks show

KERRY MCBRIDE AND MATT STEWART
Last updated 16:01 05/11/2012
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KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

UP IN SMOKE: New varieties of fireworks will be introduced to this years' show, including fireworks which seem to dance on the surface of the water.

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Sixteen tonnes of equipment, seven kilometres of cable and 19 tonnes of sand go into Wellington's fireworks display, and it's all up in smoke in 12 minutes.

But for pyrotechnician Robert McDermott, the show also requires about 600 hours of labour from his crew and 10 senior pyrotechnicians.

Mr McDermott has designed the display for the past 18 years, but still reckons he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

"We have got a lot more water-based ones this year, that dance on the surface of the water."

A soundtrack will be provided by Strike percussion group.

"We might get them to play live one day in the future, I think that would be a pretty cool thing to add in."

Although the crowds can expect their old favourites from years gone by, such as love hearts, smiley faces and shimmering gold blooms, there are plenty of new items.

"Every time we come here people always ask us about the smiley faces and hearts, so we just add more and more in. I think people like spotting them among the other more traditional ones so we've added more to keep people smiling."

Nine-ring purple crackling flowers, turquoise peonies, popping chrysanthemums and bowtie rings are all sure to elicit "oohs" and "ahhs".

The largest of its kind in New Zealand, the show requires around 100 hours of programme design and a month of fireworks manufacturing.

Mr McDermott travels the world to produce fireworks displays and says Wellington offers one of the best harbours to work with.

"For viewing purposes for an audience you can get almost a 360 degree view. It's up there with the Sydney Harbour for viewing quality. I love coming back here."

The show starts at 9pm.

THE WEATHER

MetService is warning Wellingtonians heading to tonight's Guy Fawke's extravaganza to be prepared for some lingering showers and southerlies set to hit after 5pm tonight.

''Unfortunately after a beautiful start we have the risk for a few showers from afternoon which may still be around into the evening,'' MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said.

A weak trough currently sliding up the east coast of the South Island will brush past Wellington by 6pm bringing a fresh southerly change, a drop to 10 degrees celcius and a sporadic showers.

''People heading out to view the fireworks might want to grab an umbrella and take a raincoat, just in case.''

Mr Corbett had his ''fingers crossed'' the southerly spell would not ruin the fireworks bonanza, which starts at 9pm.

''If you see any blokes doing a dance on the roof of MetService, they're the ones trying to keep the showers and the wind away,'' Mr Corbett said.

The rest of the week should be mostly fine as a large high builds across the country, he said. 

THE SHOW

Viewable from hills around central Wellington, waterfront, or from boats in the harbour.

Music will be played on Classic Hits 90.1 and ZM 90.9. There will also be speakers dotted around the waterfront. Traffic is notoriously bad on Guy Fawkes night, so plan to get there early. Walk or take public transport if possible.

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In the event of bad weather, the display will be held on Tuesday November 6.

ROAD CLOSURES

Traffic moving east away from the central city on Oriental Pde and Evans Bay Pde will be restricted to one lane and one direction from 7pm to 10pm.

Evans Bay Pde will be closed to through traffic at the Cobham Dr intersection from 7pm to 10pm.

On Mt Victoria, Alexandra Rd will be closed at the intersection with Constable St in Newtown once the maximum safe parking capacity towards the Mt Victoria summit has been reached. There will also be parking restrictions around the lookout and along Alexandra Rd, and a one-way traffic flow will be in place on the roads around the lookout

 

- The Dominion Post

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