Fireworks to light up Paihia at midnight

By Peter de Graaf

The Bay of Islands is set to ring in the New Year with the now-traditional fireworks display off Paihia Beach.

For the 10th year running, the fireworks show will be launched at the stroke of midnight from a car ferry moored between Paihia and Russell in the Veronica Channel.

Organiser Heinz Marti said this year's 10-12 minute show would involve $23,000 worth of pyrotechnics, making it slightly bigger than last year's.

It would again be put on by pyrotechnics expert Martin van Tiel, who was responsible for the Rugby World Cup fireworks displays. While there were some nerves about the forecast, the rough weather was expected to have passed by midnight.

The show was mainly paid for by Paihia and Russell businesses with some grants and sponsorship.

"Because of the economic times we put some feelers out to see if people still wanted it, but they really enjoy it ... it brings thousands of people to the beach from all over the region."

The town's bars and restaurants would be open and many had been granted extended licences, Mr Marti said.

Across the water, Russell is not planning a fireworks display this year but will be hosting live music from 1pm to midnight.

From 8pm, Fat 32 will play at the Duke of Marlborough Tavern ("the back pub") and Furious 3 will play the waterfront Duke.

- Northern Advocate

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