Double the 'wow' factor

Fireworks launched from parking building

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 11:22 31/12/2013
Kelvin Holdaway
Emma Allen

Fireworks fun: Pyrotechnician Kelvin Holdaway is again organising the New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Marlborough. This year there will be two shows – one in Picton and the other in Blenheim

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Blenheim will not be left out of the New Year's Eve fireworks show this year, with two displays scheduled tonight.

Fireworks technician Kelvin Holdaway, of Blenheim, is organising shows in Picton and Blenheim with the help of fellow technician Philip Rayner.

The two shows will be quite different because the Blenheim show is being launched from the top level of the Alfred St car park.

"We had extra safety concerns with the Blenheim fireworks, so we are using close proximity fireworks imported from America," Mr Holdaway said yesterday as he continued to prepare the pyrotechnics.

The show in town will be shorter than the one in Picton harbour and will not be as noisy.

"We will not have any big star shells at the Blenheim show - they will be more of a comet variety that burst into the sky and burn out. They will be different to previous shows," he said.

"The fireworks go more than 225 feet (68 metres) high so will be clearly visible from Liz Davidson Park on Queen St.

They have zero per cent fallout so there will be nothing falling down on to buildings in town," he said.

The Picton show is launched from a barge moored in the harbour. This year the barge has been supplied by Beach Comber Cruises.

"It is always a challenge to find a barge that is available at this time of year," he said.

He has again managed to source smiley-face shell fireworks and waterfall shells that light up the water for the Picton show.

He promises no black holes in the sky during the show.

"Every fireworks technician has their own theory on letting off fireworks.

"I like a continuous, but a slightly shorter show. I find if you go on too long you loose the ‘wow' factor a bit," Mr Holdaway said.

The fireworks display will last about 12 minutes in Picton and about 4 minutes in Blenheim.

"It always seems a lot longer to people than it actually is," he said.

The New Year's Eve celebrations in both towns are organised by Go Marlborough.

Director Duncan Mackenzie said there would be extra security at both events to be certain they ran smoothly.

"Both fireworks shows will be something special and the new Blenheim venue at Liz Davidson Park will provide the perfect viewing place for the show," Mr Mackenzie said.

Part of Queen and Charles streets will be closed to traffic in Blenheim and part of London Quay and Wellington St in Picton.

Both events will start at 8pm with entertainment.

The fireworks will start on the stroke of midnight.

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- The Marlborough Express

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