Fireworks set to light up night for charity

By Mike Dinsdale

Ever wonder what $25,000 worth of fireworks looks like when they light up the night sky?

The answer will be revealed on Saturday when the annual Whangarei Lions Family Fireworks Spectacular is held again at the Northland Events Centre, in Okara Dr.

A number of charities will benefit from the entry fee to the spectacular, with Lions' own Choose Life suicide awareness programme a major beneficiary, Malcolm Hawthorn, from the Lions Club says.

Mr Hawthorn said the fireworks event had been held for the past 17 years or so, apart from a gap two years ago, and had become part of the district's social calender.

The gates will open at 6pm and there will be a full programme of bands and other entertainment for the crowds, he said, with the fireworks set to light up the night sky from about 8.30pm in a 20-minute show. If the weather is inclement on Saturday, the event will go ahead on Sunday instead.

The event is run by the Whangarei club with support from other Lions clubs and Mr Hawthorn said the display was well supported by the community but he would like more people to attend as paying customers.

"There's a lot of people in Morningside and Parihaka who get a free show. It would be nice if those people came through the gates instead to support the event and make sure it keeps happening," he said.

Entry is $10 a person or $25 for a family of four, with tickets available on the gate.

The fireworks display had to be cancelled in 2009 because of concerns over its location at Tikipunga after Okara Park was being redeveloped.

Mr Hawthorn said organisers received a lot of feedback about the change in venue and were pleased it returned to its natural location last year and was there again this year.

"The stadium is the best spot for it, but we may have to move it again [if the Old Boys site above the stadium is redeveloped]," he said.

- Northern Advocate

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