Cracker party

07:53, Dec 28 2013
Talented logans: Sam, Emma and Josh Logan are back together for Christmas and performing on New Year's Eve

On the count of 12 fireworks will lighten the skies at two locations in Marlborough to herald in the New Year.

Go Marlborough co-ordinator Duncan McKenzie says a pyrotechnic display above the Picton harbour has become a popular feature of the annual New Year festivities on the town foreshore.

This year, fireworks will also be let off in Blenheim, where organisers are moving the live entertainment base from Market Place to the new Liz Davidson Park, on Queen St.

Growing the Blenheim festivities is a New Year party-plan goal, Duncan says.

This year's programme is aimed at drawing a wider sector of people to the centre of town to welcome in the New Year.

Happy rhythms from a Pasifika group will start the Blenheim festivities, followed by the main guest, Kiwi country legend Tony Williams. He earned the New Zealand Country Music Legend Award this year for his wide appeal, ability to perform a mix of blues, jazz, modern, rock and country music and a warm, entertainment personality.


"We've formed a wonderful relationship with the [Marlborough] Country Music Club and this is a great showcase for country music," Duncan says.

County music has a wide following in the region, he adds, so Go Marlborough was happy to showcase nationally known talent such as Tony Williams.

Country rhythms will be silenced in Blenheim just before midnight, however, leaving the year's last notes to a bag piper before the fireworks are lit.

In Picton, the New Year's Eve entertainment will be started by jazz, funk, folk, blues-inspired guitarist Midge McCleary.

He will be followed by rock band One False Move.

This line-up includes 2013 Marlborough's Top Talent winner, vocalist Emma Logan and her brother guitarist Sam Logan.

Sam was composer in residence for the National Youth Orchestra this year but returns to his rock roots on Tuesday night, with Thornton Church and Jayden Paul completing the One False Move line-up.

At 10pm Wellington's Chilli Dogs will take the stage in Picton and carry the entertainment through until the midnight fireworks.

This is the fourth year Go Marlborough has co-ordinated the New Year celebrations and each year they evolve as organisers take on board comment from members of the public, sponsors, volunteer fire brigades, Marlborough Roads and the performers.

"Everyone puts in and we take all the good bits."

Duncan expressed his gratitude for the wider community that allows the celebrations to be held.

He guesses taxi drivers in Blenheim will be breathing a sigh of relief that performances are being held at the Liz Davidson Park instead of Market Place, where their taxi stands are based.

"They have never complained about it but I've always been aware it's disrupting the taxi flow on what's probably their busiest night of the year."

Duncan also thanked the teams of volunteer firefighters who must sacrifice their own wishes to welcome in the New Year by staying on call, ready for emergency call-outs.

Marlborough Roads staff keep the traffic flowing and manage parking areas and when the festivities are over other groups arrive to clean the streets.

It should all make for a happy new year celebration.


The Marlborough Express