Dominator Fireworks

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Jan 25, 2010

Fireworks display to celebrate the 26th annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Display location:Harbin
Country: China
Date:January 3

Details: In frigid northeastern China, in the city of Harbin is hosting its 26th annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. Massive buildings built of ice from the frozen surface of the nearby Songhua River, large scale snow sculptures, ice slides, festival food and drinks can be found in several parks in the city. At night, visitors who endure the bitter cold will see the lights switched on, illuminating the sculptures from both inside and outside. This year's festival opened yesterday, January 5th, and will remain open until some time in February. Collected here are several photos from just before the festival, and of the opening night.

Dominator Fireworks

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Jan 22, 2010

The annual Chain O' Lakes fireworks display

Display location:Fox Lake
City:Fox Lake
Date:Fourth of July

Details: The annual Chain O' Lakes fireworks celebration in Fox Lake faces an uncertain future once again.

Fox Lake Mayor Ed Bender said he has learned the not-for-profit group Chain O' Lakes Fireworks may on the verge of disbanding, putting the annual display in jeopardy for the third time in as many years.

Bender added the hope is that either another group will step forward to take the reins, or that the village could somehow find the money in a tight budget to continue the celebration over the water.

"There are no answers on what will take place," he said. "Basically, a question for the village is, should the village take it over for good? And, if so, how do we raise money for it because the budget is tight?"

Bender said the village expected the not-for-profit group Chain O' Lakes Fireworks to continue putting on the display.

That group - formed in 2008 - raised the money needed and put on the $20,000 display on Fox Lake in 2009.

But Tim Triggs, former co-director of the group, said he was resigning due to "differences of opinion with people within the group."

The other co-director of Chain O' Lakes Fireworks, Noreen Michael, did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

Bender said Michael also has not returned phone calls from the village regarding the status of the fireworks celebration.

Triggs said he is unsure whether Michael intends to continue the group or plans to fold it.

Chain O' Lakes Fireworks was formed after fireworks director Pete Jakstas, owner of the Mineola Marina and Lounge, stepped down from doing the annual display over the water, widely regarded as one of the best shows in the area. Jakstas formed his own not-for-profit group to raise money and put on the $60,000 display over Mineola Bay on Fox Lake. After more than two decades, Jakstas put on his last show in 2007.

In 2008, fireworks were held on land, on a village-owned site off Rollins Road. The show returned to the water in 2009.

Nancy Rogers, head of the village's parks and recreation department, said she would love to see the fireworks continue, but is unsure how to make it happen.

"We put calls in to a couple of organizations to see what is happening, but so far, no one has stepped up to continue the event," she said. "Right now, we are just exploring all options to see how we can get it done."

Fireworks Show on Fourth of July event at Waneka Lake

Display location: Waneka Lake
Date:Forth of July
Show contact:303-473-1341 or

Details: LAFAYETTE -- Celebrate Lafayette, the city's oldest festival, may be on its way out.

The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is proposing replacing September's downtown Celebrate Lafayette with a Fourth of July event at Waneka Lake.

"We have done everything that we can possibly do to make Celebrate Lafayette better," said Vicki Trumbo, the chamber's executive director. "We felt maybe it was time to make a change."

But the City Council, which heard the proposal this week, wants more time to consider the idea. Several council members said they're not sure a July 4 celebration would be the best replacement.

The chamber is asking the City Council, which has been Celebrate Lafayette's main sponsor, to continue contributing about $4,000 a year to a new event.

Council member Carolyn Cutler said she would like to wait to make any changes until 2011, especially since the city is working to better market its downtown.

"This deserves more thought and more discussion," she said.

Celebrate Lafayette, which started in 1956 as Lafayette Days, included a craft fair, community booths and a parade. Until the mid-1980s, it also featured a Miss Lafayette pageant.

Once the city's main community festival, it drew 10,000 participants at its peak in the 1990s. But attendance in the last few years has steadily dropped, down to less than 3,000 people last year.

Vendors also are losing interest because they're not making money. Then there's the decline in parade entries. Once, the parade could count on 100 floats, bands and other participants. Now, it's down to about 35 entries.

Celebrate Lafayette organizers have tried various strategies to spark interest in the event, from contests to themes to gourmet food. The festival one year offered lobsters flown in from Maine and another year tried a shrimp boil.

Organizers said the event has been overshadowed by the increasingly popular Peach Festival, which in 2009 drew a record-breaking 20,000-plus participants.

City Administrator Gary Klaphake said it's a timing issue. The Peach Fest is set in late August because that's when the Western Slope peaches are ripe. By September, "you've exhausted sponsors, volunteers and money."

Other possible reasons for the low turnout include the distraction of college football games and an increase in children's sports and other activities in the fall, organizers said.

To replace Celebrate Lafayette, the chamber is proposing an Independence Day celebration at Waneka Lake with fireworks and activities like sack races, a balloon toss and a pie-eating contest. Food would be simple -- hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream.

"It would be strictly family-oriented," Trumbo said.

She said Lafayette is the only area community without a Fourth of July event, making a local celebration a common resident request. She said the organizers would recruit sponsors and may ask for donations to cover the high cost of fireworks.

Council members said they're concerned about how well Lafayette could compete with more-established -- and better-funded -- fireworks shows in other communities.

But Lafayette resident Grant Swift, a regular at Celebrate Lafayette, said he likes the idea of a July 4 event. He said he usually watches the firework shows put on by other communities from a good vantage point in Lafayette.

"It would be cool to have our own fireworks," he said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Amy Bounds at 303-473-1341 or

Fireworks Show at Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park

Display location:Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park
City:Fort Lauderdale
Date:Saturday, Feb. 6

Details: FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Football League announced today that acclaimed multi-platinum pop-rock group Barenaked Ladies will co-headline with O.A.R. and join Grammy nominated phenom Robert Randolph & The Family Band on the bill of SUPER BOWL SATURDAY NIGHT, a free outdoor concert and fireworks spectacular on Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park, Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl XLIV.

Free and open to the public, SUPER BOWL SATURDAY NIGHT is a unique entertainment event celebrating an exciting year of football and the arrival of Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida. In addition to live performances by O.A.R., the Barenaked Ladies and Robert Randolph & The Family Band, the event will feature a Super Bowl Fireworks Spectacular to conclude the evening. It will take place at Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park, adjacent to the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel on A1A (Seabreeze Blvd.), just north of Holiday Drive.

Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. with a DJ set and video programming, followed by live music beginning at 6 p.m. and concluding with the Super Bowl Fireworks Spectacular at 9:40 p.m.

Gates open at 4 p.m. No tickets are required.

Enjoy low, flat rate parking in downtown Fort Lauderdale with free shuttle services to the beach. For all transportation options, go to

Over the course of the past twenty-one years, the Barenaked Ladies have racked up eight Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 14 million albums worldwide, written a plethora of hit singles (including "One Week," "Pinch Me" and "If I Had $1000000") and amassed an international fanbase whose members number in the millions. The band also wrote and recorded the theme song to the hit CBS television series, "The Big Bang Theory." The quartet is currently gearing up for the March 30th release of highly anticipated new album, ALL IN GOOD TIME, which features the new hit, "You Run Away."

Robert Randolph & The Family Band was formed by frontman and pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph, who's listed among the "Top-100 Guitarists of All-Time " in "Rolling Stone." Randolph and his band have toured with the likes of Eric Clapton, who even made a guest appearance on their most recent album, "Colorblind." Their new release, coming later this year is produced by acclaimed producer, T. Bone Burnett.

For more information on Barenaked Ladies, please visit and for more information on Robert Randolph & The Family Band, please visit

Fireworks Display included in 2010 Lehigh Valley IronPigs Promotions and Giveaway Days

Display location:Lehigh Valley
City:Lehigh Valley
Date:May 1 (6:35 p.m)&May 21 (7:05 pm)&June 4 (7:05 pm)&June 11 (7:05 pm)&June 18 (7:05 pm) &July 2 (7:05 pm)&July 4 (7:05 pm)&July 5 (7:05 pm)

Details: The tentative schedule of promotions:


Tuesdays: TD Bank Ballpark Bingo

Saturdays: Happy Hour Concert Series (Gates open at 4:45 p.m.) featuring food and drink specials until 5:45 p.m. in the AT&T Plaza

Sundays: Tootsee the Clown and Friends appearance featuring three hours of free balloon animals for kids


April 14 (7:05 p.m.) – Opening Night presented by OAA

April 15 (7:05 p.m.) – Magnet Schedule giveaway (All fans) / Heroes Night No. 1

April 16 (7:05 p.m.) – Friday Night Fireworks

April 18 (1:35 p.m.) – Dog Day No. 1 (Bring Your Dog to the Park) / Dog Bowl giveaway, Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital (First 2,000 youth 17 and under)

April 22 (7:05 p.m.) – Earth Awareness Night

May 1 (6:35 p.m.) – Fireworks presented by Coors Light

May 2 (1:35 p.m.) – Tie-Dye Baseball giveaway, National MS Society (First 3,500 fans) / '60s Night

May 3 (7:05 p.m.) – Karate Night

May 4 (10:35 am) – Education Day No. 1 presented by Lehigh Valley Health Network

May 6 (7:05 pm) –Jerry "The King" Lawler appearance / Heroes Night No. 2

May 7 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

May 8 (6:35 pm) – Travel Mug giveaway, Phoebe Ministries (First 5,000 fans) / Faith Night No. 1

May 9 (1:35 pm) – Mother's Day Pink Visor giveaway (First 2,000 women)

May 18 (7:05 p.m.) -- Dance Team Night No. 1

May 19 (7:05 pm) – Disco Baseball giveaway, Finish Line Running Store (First 3,500 fans) / '70s Night

May 20 (10:35 am) – Education Day No. 2 presented by Lehigh Valley Health Network

May 21 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

May 23 (1:05 pm) – Youth Cap giveaway, Capital BlueCross (First 2,000 youth 17 and under)

May 25 (7:05 pm) – IronPigs Golf Umbrella giveaway, The Morning Call (First 3,000 adults 18 and over) / Dance Team Night No. 2

June 4 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

June 6 (1:35 pm) – Red Hatter Day

June 8 (7:05 pm) – Team Photo and Autograph Session, People First Federal Credit Union (First 5,000 fans)

June 9 (7:05 pm) – Turn Back the Clock Night / Allentown Cardinals Throwback Cap giveaway, Service Electric Cable TV (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

June 10 (7:05 pm) – Faith Night No. 2 / Lehigh Valley Health Network Health Fair Night

June 11 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

June 17 (7:05 pm) – IronPigs Flip Flops giveaway, Air Products (First 2,000 youth 17 and under)

June 18 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

June 19 (6:35 pm) – Reggy, "The Purple Party Dude" appearance

June 29 (7:05 pm) – Phillie Phanatic appearance

June 30 (7:05 pm) – Hispanic Heritage Night / IronPigs "Fiesta de Pigs" T-shirt giveaway, Coca-Cola (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

July 1 (7:05 pm) – Red, White & Blue IronPigs Game Cap giveaway, Lutron Electronics (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

July 2 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks presented by TD Bank

July 4 (7:05 pm) – 3-D Fireworks Extravaganza presented by AT&T (First 7,000 fans)

July 5 (7:05 pm) – Fireworks presented by Coors Light

July 23 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks presented by The Crayola Factory / Boy Scout Sleepover

July 25 (5:35 pm) – Youth T-shirt giveaway, Capital BlueCross (First 2,000 youth 12 and under)

July 26 (7:05 pm) – Andy Tracy Bobblehead giveaway, Nacci Printing (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

July 27 (7:05 pm) – Magic 8 Baseball giveaway, A1 Towing (First 3,500 fans) / '80s Night

July 29 (11:05 am) – IronPigs Fan Hair giveaway, PA Dairy Association (First 3,500 youth 17 and under) / Camp Day

July 30 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks / Girl Scout Sleepover

Aug. 5 (7:05 pm) – K-Kids Brian Schneider Bobblehead giveaway, Lehigh Valley Health Network (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

Aug. 6 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks / Boy Scout Sleepover

Aug. 7 (6:35pm) – Fireworks presented by CrossRoads Harley Davidson / BUELL / Hog Night

Aug. 9 (7:05 pm) – Dog Day No. 2 (Bring Your Dog to the Park) / Phillie Phanatic appearance presented by TD Bank

Aug. 12 (7:05 pm) – Japanese Heritage Night

Aug. 21 (6:35 pm) – Fireworks

Aug. 22 (7:05 pm) – Desktop Cap Bank giveaway, Toyota (First 2,000 youth 12 and under)

Aug. 24 (7:05 pm) – IronPigs Team Card Set giveaway, Verizon Wireless (First 2,000 youth 17 and under) / Irish Heritage Night

Aug. 25 (7:05 pm) – Football Night / Adult Cap giveaway, Harvey Building Products (First 3,000 adults 18 and over)

Aug. 30 (7:05 pm) – Italian Heritage Night / 2011 Wall Calendar giveaway, Nacci Printing (First 7,500 adults 18 and over)

Aug. 31 (7:05 pm) – 2011 Magnet Schedule giveaway, Sacred Heart Hospital (First 5,000 fans)

Sept. 3 (7:05 pm) – Friday Night Fireworks

Sept. 5 (5:35 pm) – Fireworks

Sept. 6 (1:35 pm) – Fan Appreciation Day

Winterlude to kick off with fireworks display and music

Display location:Ottawa
Date:Feb. 5

Details: The National Capital Commission is kicking off Winterlude with 20 minutes worth of fireworks, along with musical performances and a light and video show to mark the opening night of the festival's 32nd season.

The show will take place at the Museum of Civilization on Feb. 5, kicking off three weeks of festivities.

While the festival will tie in the Winter Olympics, organizers will also use the first weekend to collect donations to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

The NCC announced the festival's lineup on Tuesday. Activities will include skating on the Rideau Canal, an ice pond hockey tournament, snow sculpting at the Snowflake Kingdom and ice sculptures in the Crystal Gardens.

The Snowbowl venue, which had been used for concerts in the past, is not part of this year's lineup.

Winterlude is credited with bringing in about $82.5 million in economic spin-off for the national capital region, attracting an average of 650,000 visitors each year.

It's estimated one in three people who attend the festival are visitors from outside the region.

2010 Pirates individual tickets go on sale Saturday, including fireworks display

Display location:San Francisco
City:San Francisco
Date:April 16 & June 4 & June 5 & August 6
Display location: Zambelli Fireworks

Details: The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that individual game tickets for the 2010 season will go on sale on Saturday, January 30 at 10 a.m. At that time, all fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to all regular season games, including the Home Opener on Monday, April 5 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the tickets page at, going to PirateFest, at the PNC Park Main Box Office, or by calling 1-877-893-BUCS.

The early on-sale date was chosen to coincide with the Pirates largest off-season event in Pittsburgh when the club hosts their 20th annual PirateFest from Friday, January 29 through Sunday, January 31 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Prices for tickets to individual games for the 2010 season remain the same at all price levels.

In addition to the home opener on April 5, the 2010 schedule features many intriguing home matchups, exciting promotions, and holiday games.

April 16 through 18 vs. Cincinnati Reds - includes the first Zambelli Fireworks show of the season after the game on Saturday, April 17.
May 7 through 9 vs. St. Louis Cardinals - includes a Mother's Day tilt on Sunday, May 9.
May 31 through June 2 vs. Chicago Cubs - the official start of summer begins with a Memorial Day game on Monday, May 31.
June 4 through 6 vs. San Francisco Giants - includes SkyBlast I featuring Zambelli Fireworks and Collective Soul in concert after the game on Saturday, June 5.
June 15 through 20 - Interleague play returns with the Chicago White Sox in town June 15 though 17. The rival Cleveland Indians return for a weekend series June 18 through 20, which will feature a 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Pirates' 1960 World Championship in addition to a Father's Day game on Sunday, June 20.
July 1 through 4 vs. Philadelphia Phillies - cross state rivals come to PNC Park for a four-game series during the Fourth of July weekend with Zambelli Fireworks on Saturday, July 3 after the game.
July 23 through 25 vs. the San Diego Padres - includes a post-game concert featuring Steve Miller Band on Saturday, July 24.
August 6 through 8 vs. Colorado Rockies - includes SkyBlast II featuring Zambelli Fireworks and George Thorogood in concert after the game Saturday, August 7.
August 20 thru 22 - former National League East rival New York Mets come to town for a weekend matchup.
September 6 through 8 - the Atlanta Braves play a three-game series at PNC Park, featuring a Labor Day game on Monday, September 6.
September 24 thru 26 - Fan Appreciation Weekend at PNC Park during the final regular season home weekend of the 2010 season as the Pirates take on the Astros. Saturday, September 25 will include a post-game concert featuring O.A.R.
For those fans who want to ensure that they get their desired seats for all of their select games, full season and partial season ticket plans are already available for purchase, including the popular value priced full season plans, 40-Game Plans, 20-Game Plans, and 10-Game plans. Value Season Ticket Plans, described below, make it extremely affordable to purchase full season packages at PNC Park.

$399 full season plan in the Left, Right and Outfield Grandstands. At less than $5 per game, this plan has been created to provide value for families.
$599 full season plan in the Bleacher Reserved. At $7.40 per game, this package allows fans to sit field level in Left Field at significant savings.
$799 full season plan in the Infield Grandstand. At less than $10 per game, these seats overlook the infield and will provide great views of the game, skyline and post-game fireworks.
$999 in the Outfield Box. At $12.33 per game, these field-level seats are located down the left and right field lines.
20-Game Season Ticket Plans - Starting as low as $140, fans choose from four distinct plans with great games and great promotions, or choose their own games in the 20-Game Pick-A-Plan.
10-Game Season Ticket Plan - Starting as low as $72, these 10-game plans allow fans to purchase any eight games they would like to attend and receive two additional bonus games at no extra cost.

Fireworks Display at Bowling Green Ballpark.

Display location:Bowling Green Ballpark.
City:Bowling Green
Date:every Friday
Show contact:

Details: The Bowling Green Hot Rods’ approach to their second season of promotional giveaways is simple - stick with what worked in the first season.

An expanded fireworks schedule and a sequel to “What Could’ve Been Night” highlight the Hot Rods’ 2010 promotional schedule, which was released today. Bowling Green general manager/CEO Brad Taylor said he is excited about what is in store for fans this season at Bowling Green Ballpark.

“I think it is a very strong promotional schedule,” Taylor said. “This is a year we can have fun with our promotional schedule because we saw what took off last year and what the fans of southcentral Kentucky and Bowling Green like. At the end of the day, it is just added value for people when they buy a $5 or $10 ticket to get all this added value that goes with attending the Hot Rod game.”

Perhaps the most anticipated night of the season will be “What Could’ve Been Night 2” on Aug. 28, when the first 1,000 fans will receive a bobble-tail Cave Shrimp doll, a reference to the polarizing nickname suggestion for the Class A club.

“When you win national awards for ‘What Could Have Been Night,’ there has to be a Part 2,” Taylor said. “It’s going to have to be our perpetuating thing now. I think that is one of the fun and unique things you’ll see in Minor League Baseball this year.”

The Hot Rods will also offer fireworks after every Friday night home game, and fans who attend Agriculture Night on July 31 will receive a bobblehead honoring the team mascot, Axle.

Among the new giveaways this season will be school-themed days. Kids will get Hot Rod lunch boxes July 25 and Hot Rod backpacks Aug. 1.

There will also be a full-size skateboard deck giveaway on May 31.

“One of the things we saw at the winter meetings was the skate deck,” Taylor said. “When we found out that half of the (Major League Baseball) teams have signed on to do them, we took a good look at it. It was pretty easy for us with the skate park right behind the stadium.”

Taylor added that the Hot Rods might have a few more promotional days in the works.

“We’ve got some other stuff we are working on with some local partners to see what we can get going in the next 75 to 80 days before first pitch,” Taylor said.

Support fireworks show with 50/50 drawing

Display location:Willcox
Date:Fourth of July
Show contact: 384-4271, ext. 4201.

Details: Time is running out on the Willcox Rotary Club fundraiser for this year's Fourth of July fireworks show, with the drawing to be held toward the end of this month.

The cost is $20 per ticket, with sales limited to a total of 500 tickets, making the chances of winning one in 500 if all the tickets are sold.

"If we sell them all, we'll have a total of $10,000 -- $5,000 for each party," said City Manager Pat McCourt, explaining that half the money will go to the fire department for fireworks, while the other half will go to the winner of the drawing.

Checks should be made payable to the "Willcox Rotary."

Ticket sales will continue until the time of the drawing, but only cash will be accepted during the final week.

The Rotary Club plans to hold that drawing at its meeting at noon on Thursday, Jan. 28.

If the winner is not present, the Rotary president will make arrangements to present the winner a check from the club, said McCourt, who is in active Rotarian.

"The City of Willcox Fire Department has done fundraising and collecting money for the fireworks with varying degrees of success," he said.

"The community has been supportive, but it's getting tougher and tougher," McCourt told the Range News in November.

As a member of Rotary, McCourt had approached the Willcox club with the idea of a 50-50 raffle.

The Willcox City Council gave its unanimous approval to the fundraising effort at its Sept. 21 meeting.

For further information, contact any Willcox Rotarian or call Pat McCourt at 384-4271, ext. 4201.

Dominator Fireworks

Dominator Fireworks Home Page

Jan 20, 2010

Daily fireworks display and carnivals await residents for a colourful spectacle this DSF

Display location:beside Dubai Creek
Country:the United Arab Emirates
Date:at 8:30pm,everyday

Details: Firework displays and carnivals stand to add colour to this year’s DSF as residents and visitors await the 15th edition of the Festival. The fireworks, sponsored by the Al Zarooni Group, will be held everyday throughout DSF at the Al Seef area beside Dubai Creek at 8:30pm.

Dubai Carnivals, also popular with residents and visitors, will enhance the festivities across the city with parades in shopping malls and the main street venues – Al Seef, Dhiyafah, Rigga, and The Walk at JBR. Around 150 performers, including jugglers, stilt walkers, unicyclists, and percussionists, are expected to take part in the carnivals. While groups of performers will parade in shopping malls through the week, all performers will get together on weekends at one venue for the ‘big carnival’.

Dubai Carnivals features a convergence of cultures and performances created to regale the crowds and spread the spirit of DSF across Dubai, and it celebrates different cultures and traditions with spectacular costumes and music.

Gasparilla returns Saturday with children's parade, fireworks display

Display location:Tampa

Details: Grab your eye patches, kids! It's time for Tampa's annual parade of G-rated pirates.

Parents and children from across the Bay area are expected to converge on Bayshore Boulevard on Saturday for the Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza & Parade, which will feature plenty of family-friendly activities and lots of bead-dazzling.

The fun starts at noon with a free Bicycle Safety Rodeo, where children will be fitted with helmets and get a chance to ride a provided bike through a fun course. Participants even get to keep the helmets (while supplies last, or course).

For those who prefer to keep their eyes on the skies, the Gasparilla Air Invasions will rev up the crowd at noon and 3 p.m. Spectators will get a chance to see vintage aircraft and the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team.

The Bay area's tiniest pirates will take to the streets from 2 to 3 p.m. for the Preschooler's Stroll, which also follows Bayshore Boulevard, starting at Bay to Bay Boulevard and ending at Howard Avenue.

The main parade, which starts at Bay to Bay and ends at Watrous Avenue, kicks aff at 3:30 p.m. and is expected to wrap up at 6 p.m.

For those who are staying up past their bedtimes anyway, there's another air show at 6:30 p.m., followed by a "Piratechnic" show from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

For information on the whole shebang, go to Keyword: Gasparilla.

Orland Park's Independence Fireworks Show

Display location:Orland Park
Date:Fourth of July

Details: Orland Park's Independence Spectacular has been trimmed to one day this year, but Village trustees took preliminary steps last week to ensure the Fourth of July festival still goes out with a bang.

The Village's community events and outreach committee voted 2-1 on Monday, Jan. 11 to recommend the Village Board approve a three-year contract with Melrose Pyrotechnics for a fireworks display at the Independence Spectacular held July 4 at Centennial Park.

Under the terms of the contract, the Indiana-based pyro company will be paid $23,000 each of the next three years to set up and deploy the fireworks and synch the 25-minute show with music, Trustee Kathy Fenton said. The Village has used Melrose Pyrotechnics for its Fourth of July festival for the last 10 years, Fenton noted.

Trustee Bernard Murphy cast the lone vote against the contract. He asked if the Village should consider skipping the fireworks show this year to save money after the challenges Orland Park faced to adopt a balanced budget for 2010.

Assistant Village Manager Ellen Baer told Murphy the board could place a donation box on all water bills for those residents wanting to contribute and help offset the cost of the show.

Orland Park officials already approved reducing the Independence Spectacular from two days to one to trim staffing expenses. The cost of the fireworks display was included in this year's budget, Trustee Ed Schussler said.

"Trustee Murphy's comments are well-taken because this is going to be a difficult year and a tight year," Schussler said. "But we did already make cuts to the event and we already budgeted [for the fireworks show]."

Fenton, who serves as chairman of the community events and outreach committee, said she never considered eliminating the fireworks display from the festival.

"I think we figured we could reorganize the festival [to one day] to save funds," she said. "You can't have a Fourth of July festival without fireworks."

A vote on whether to approve the contract with Melrose Pyrotechnics was expected to take place at the Village Board meeting on Monday, Jan. 18.

Dominator Fireworks

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Jan 18, 2010

The 2nd Sinulog Fireworks Display Competition

Display location: Cebu
City: Cebu
Country: the Philippines
Date:July 17.

Details:The night skies of Cebu City on the eve of the Sinulog were painted with light and color in the 2nd Sinulog Fireworks Competition held outside SM City.

Bulacan entries were the big winners.

Pyrohaven from Sta. Maria, Bulacan province bagged first place.

LF Fireworks, also from Bulacan, was first runner up and DSS Fireworks of Dumaguete City was second runner up.

“Wow!” was all the judges could say as seven groups took turns showing their pyrotechnic marvels.

The panel of judges came from the Culture and Arts Center of the Philippines and Sinulog Foundation.

They were Chris Milano, Shirly Halili-Cruz, Nestor Jardin, Marichu Tellano and choreographer Douglas Nierra.

This year's prize were P100,000 for the best, P80,000 and P60,000 for the runners up.

DSS fireworks was last year’s champion in the 1st Sinulog Fireworks Competition. Pyrohaven, on the other hand, was the first placer of the 2009 Sky Wizardry of Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna province.

Other contestants in this year's competition were ENB Fireworks (Dumaguete's Buglasan Festival champion), A.R.E. Fireworks from Laguna, Ganna Fireworks from Surigao City, Avila Fireworks from Babag, Lapu-Lapu City, and Tsing Tsang Fireworks from Cagayan de Oro City.

The competition ended with a grand fireworks demonstration synchronized with the Sinulog beat by Cebu's Pyroworks International.

The competition was organized by SM City Cebu, Pyroworks International and the Sinulog Foundation as a prelude to the Sinulog Grand Parade./ Reporter Aileen Garcia-Yap

Fireworks display extravaganza over Aspen Mountain

Display location:over Aspen Mountain
Date:July.16 8:15 p.m.

Details: ASPEN — Chamber officials are banking that the extra $15,000 kicked in by the city of Aspen for Wintersköl festivities will pay off at the corner of Galena Street and Cooper Avenue Saturday.

The monetary allocation was part of the Aspen City Council's “economic stimulus” funding that set aside $200,000 as seed money toward a host of new or existing special events. The goal is that the events will drive tourism, fuel the local economy and create memorable experiences for guests as an enticement for them to return.

The Aspen City Council earlier this month allocated $147,500 to a handful of events. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association's (ACRA) new Epic WinterFest to be held Saturday is the first one to be executed.

“We're the first one out of the gates,” said Debbie Braun, president and CEO of ACRA. “I don't know how it's all going to go, but I have a good feeling.”

More than 30 concepts with a total of $544,500 in requests were submitted to the city, which were vetted by a 12-member committee over the past few months. The committee's aim was that each event ought to “put heads in beds” or create vitality.

“WinterFest, funny enough, fell into both,” Braun said.

ACRA's destination marketing arm placed a significant ad buy in Denver to promote Wintersköl, hoping to drive business from the Front Range.

“Wintersköl has morphed into a repeat guest event,” Braun said of the local celebration that began 59 years ago to liven up the doldrums of winter. “People now make their trips around Wintersköl.”

Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations agency, said as of Dec. 31 — the date of the last occupancy snapshot — advance bookings for this weekend peaked at just more than 70 percent both Saturday and Sunday nights. However, there have been a lot of last-minute bookings since then, and the agency was fielding a number of last-minute requests Friday for arrival this weekend. Last year's peak occupancy for Wintersköl and Martin Luther King weekend peaked at 84 percent, he added.

“I wouldn't be surprised if we wind up very close to that if not exceed it this year,” Tomcich wrote in an e-mail. “Snowmass was also booked to just over 70 percent this weekend as of Dec. 31, and likewise, I wouldn't be surprised to see them break their peak weekend occupancy of 81 percent achieved last year, as well based on the last-minute booking activity we have seen.”

Braun submitted an invoice for WinterFest to the city on Wednesday, along with a detailed budget of WinterFest expenses.

While the traditional parade has been scrapped because of a lack of participation in recent years, ACRA's special events department came up with a replacement that they hope will attract more people downtown, and thus spend money in local shops and restaurants.

“We hope it keeps people in the downtown core from noon until the fireworks, and they'll go shopping and maybe even dinner at a restaurant later,” Braun said. “WinterFest is really just trying to tinker with what's already been the success of Wintersköl.”

During their deliberations on how to distribute the seed money, City Council members discussed the merits of re-inventing or “tinkering” with Wintersköl.

Councilman Steve Skadron suggested that perhaps the community is growing tired of always having to entertain its guests and too many special events or beefed-up activities will further contribute to the fatigue.

He questioned why more money should be put into Wintersköl, or why fireworks have to occur so often in Aspen.

Councilman Torre responded by saying Wintersköl fuels tourism in a month when more is needed than just the holidays and the Winter X Games.

“Business drops off and the bookends of January aren't enough,” he said, adding Wintersköl is designed to be a local celebration for guests to enjoy. “I'd take Wintersköl over X Games.”

Mayor Mick Ireland said trying something new with an existing event is worth the attempt.

“I think we ought to try this and see how it works out,” he said.

Saturday's events, which are new to the four-day celebration of winter, consist of several free activities, including a canine fashion show, live entertainment and music on the malls and streets, cookies and hot chocolate, and more.

There also will be a beer garden set up on Cooper Avenue in front of Bad Billy's. The street will be closed in the morning for the canine fashion show and then reopen from 2-5 p.m. The beer garden will be open from 6-8:30 p.m., with fireworks following.

The city's contribution doesn't cover all of WinterFest's costs and ACRA will pick up the difference, Braun said.

The bulk of the Wintersköl budget hovers around $30,000, which is paid mostly through sponsorships. Braun said $28,500 was raised this year through sponsorships from various Aspen businesses. The goal was $30,000.

“We almost made it, which is not bad considering,” the fragile economy, she said, adding in year's past the sponsorship goal was $40,000.

Fifteen businesses have contributed cash to Wintersköl this year, with $1,000, $500 and $250 donations. Dozens of others have contributed in other ways.

Braun said another significant contribution comes from local lodges, which puts up out-of-town performers in rooms for free or discounted rates. Lodges also contribute between $1,000 and $2,000 each to pay for Soupsköl, which is an annual soup making competition that was held Friday night with more than 20 participating restaurants.

Aspen Valley Hospital underwrites the Wintersköl buttons to the tune of $2,500 and 50 percent of the proceeds are then given back for AVH's helmet program.

Whatever overall costs aren't covered by sponsorships, ACRA pays for them out of its budget funded by membership dues, which is how the chamber's three main events — Fourth of July, Food & Wine and Wintersköl — are subsidized.

“This is not a revenue generating operation in our events department,” Braun said.

It's all hands on deck for ACRA this weekend because Wintersköl is one of the chamber's signature events and the extra effort is designed to ensure that WinterFest is indeed “epic.”

Friday morning Braun was picking up doughnuts for the U.S. Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps, who are scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. on the Cooper Avenue mall. And Saturday, Braun plans to be the one handing out balloons to the kids.

“I'm not too proud to do what it takes to get the job done,” she said.

Spectacular fireworks displays will mark the launch of Istanbul's year as one of three European Capitals of Culture.

Display location:İstanbul's historic Sultanahmet square
Date:Jan 16

Details: The prestigious title gives cities the opportunity and funding to showcase and enrich their cultural life.

For Turkey, which is struggling to fulfil its longstanding aim of becoming a member of the European Union, the title has particular significance.

But Istanbul's celebration is not without its problems.
Istanbul competed fiercely with the Ukrainian capital Kiev to win this title, the last time it will be offered to a non-EU member.

The two other winners were Pecs in Hungary and Essen in Germany.

With its rich heritage of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history and its pulsating contemporary urban life, Istanbul is already recognized as one of the world's great cultural capitals.

But the title means a great deal in a country which has for decades aspired to membership of the European Union.

The opening celebrations will be marked by a spectacular fireworks display choreographed by the French pyrotechnician Cristoph Berthonneau.

And by a series of cultural performances set against the backdrop of some of Istanbul's greatest landmarks.

But big questions hang over how effective the rest of the year's programme will be.

The organizing committee has been rocked by conflict between NGOs and government bureaucrats, with mass resignations last year.

There have been persistent allegations of corruption.

Critics say there has been too much focus on restoring well-known historical sites, and too little on contemporary culture.

And very little effort has been devoted to confronting the painful twentieth century legacy left by the mass expulsion of the Greek and Armenian communities, whose buildings, many of them derelict, still litter the city.

Fireworks display on the Crimson Tide's national championship

Display location:TUSCALOOSA
Date:January 16

Details: TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Thousands of Alabama football fans came out to celebrate the Crimson Tide's national championship with fireworks and cheers on a chilly, damp Saturday, then headed home with a promise from coach Nick Saban.

Speaking from a stage erected at midfield of Bryant-Denny Stadium with the team behind him, Saban told a crowd estimated at 38,000 that he's not done winning at Alabama.

"I want everybody here to know this is not the end," Saban said. "This is the beginning."

Saban held aloft the crystal ball from the Bowl Championship Series trophy to thunderous applause and chants of "Roll Tide!" Fans went crazy when an announcer introduced six All-Americans, including running back Mark Ingram, the school's first Heisman Trophy winner.

The university staged the event to mark its undefeated season and national championship victory over Texas. Fireworks went off and the band played, but the biggest cheer came when Saban introduced the team.

"Because they are a team of champions, they were able to win the national championship," said Saban, whose speech was broadcast statewide.

Alan Britt got to the stadium 4½ hours early to be first in line, and hundreds of people were waiting behind him by the time the gates opened. Britt wouldn't have missed the celebration, despite gray skies and temperatures in the 50s.

"This doesn't happen everyday," Britt said. "It happens a lot more here than at other places, though. Roll Tide!"

The national championship meant money for Kelly Hester, who spends her falls selling T-shirts, caps and 'Bama trinkets outside Bryant-Denny. She had nine tables full of championship merchandise for the event, and fans weren't just browsing.

"People have been starved for this," Hester said.

Saban had an idea of what could be possible during his first spring scrimmage in 2007.

"I knew when I walked out that tunnel three springs ago and there were 92,000 people in this stadium that that kind of positive energy would allow us to achieve the highest expectations and goals we could have," he said.

As Saban spoke, construction workers expanding the stadium's capacity to 101,000 paused to watch from high above an end zone.

That's not the only work going on around the stadium. Athletic director Mal Moore said Alabama already is making plans to erect a statue of Saban near ones of the school's other national championship football coaches, including the late Paul "Bear" Bryant.

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Jan 17, 2010

Postgame fireworks shows to draw more fans to the park

Display location:Ballpark
Date:April 13 to 14
Show contact:972-726-4377.

Details: Individual ticket prices for Texas Rangers home games in 2010 will remain unchanged in all but two seating areas.

Prices are increasing in the corner box seats (from $33 to $40) and the lower reserved seats (from $25 to $30). Those sections account for less than 16 percent of the seating at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It is the smallest percentage of increased seat prices since 2004.

In an effort to draw more fans to the park, the Rangers have increased their postgame fireworks shows from 13 to 14 and their promotional giveaways from 16 to 18. There also will be seven concerts, with the first a Clint Black postgame concert April 10.

Ticket programs from last season — total family tickets, all-you-can-eat seats and fireworks Fridays — are back along with an opening-week discount, Military Mondays and Active Senior Thursdays.

Ticket prices will increase from $5 to $10 for 19 premier games, which include Opening Day and series against the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Most regular home games will begin at 7:05 for night games, 1:05 for weekday day games and 2:05 for Sunday day games.

Individual game tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. March 6 at the first-base ticket office at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, at, or by calling 972-726-4377.

WOODHAVEN: Four-day festival to be held in conjunction with fireworks display

Display location:Civic Center Park
Date:July 9 or 10.
Display compamy: Funfest Productions Inc

Details:WOODHAVEN — Summer fun in the city is heading in a new direction.

The City Council voted Tuesday to hold a community festival in July that will include a carnival, food, fireworks and concerts.

Funfest Productions Inc. got the nod to put on the show from July 8 through 11 at Civic Center Park.

Along with approving the four-day festival, the council agreed to hold its fireworks display during the event instead of on July 2 as it was last year. Kevin Cassidy, co-owner of Funfest Productions, requested the fireworks for July 9 or 10.

“It makes sense to pair up the fireworks and the festival,” Cassidy said.

He presented his plan and answered questions from the council. His company operates two longstanding festivals in Michigan, Stars and Stripes in Mount Clemens and the St. Clair River Fest.

Cassidy assured the council that Wade Shows Inc., which will run the carnival, will pull all of the necessary permits.

Mayor Patricia Odette said she is concerned with the costs for police and fire protection during the event.

“My partner did mention covering overtime the Police Department would have to put forward for the event,” Cassidy said.

He said he is willing to talk to the city administrator about it.

“We bring in our own bonded security company and we look at that as reducing the need (for police overtime),” he said. “We’ll step up and cover costs within reason.”

They also will bring in vendor and food booths, Cassidy said.

Funfest Productions Inc. carries a $5 million insurance policy throughout the year and Wade Shows Inc., which provides the carnival, also has its own insurance policy, he said.

Kathy D’Angelo, parks and recreation director, said the council should ensure that the city’s civic organizations contact Cassidy about working the booths. Those clubs and organizations will receive a percentage of the proceeds.

Cassidy said the city could make $5,000 on the carnival, depending on the weather.

He said his company raises funds for the festival by selling sponsorships and vendor, food and beverage booths, including alcoholic sales.

The city is not paying for the carnival, but is allowing the company to use the park for it. In exchange, the city will receive 5 percent on gross revenues.

“I’m excited about this,” D’Angelo said.

The city used to hold a fireworks display July 4 and a Harvest Moon festival in September, she said.

Because of the cost of the fireworks display July 4, it was moved to July 2 last year, and budget cuts eliminated the Harvest Moon festival.

With these arrangements, residents can have a fun event to attend and it won’t cost the city any money, D’Angelo said.

“This will be a community builder,” she said.

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Jan 14, 2010

New Year's Eve Insanity: Lady Sees UFO While Watching Fireworks Display

Display location:Cheshunt
City:Waltham Cross
State: Hertfordshire
Date:New Year's Eve

Details: A CHESHUNT mum was 'freaked out' after spotting several pink UFOs in the skies..." Read More

UK tabloids have an obsession with UFO's, and I get a kick out of reading the eyewitness accounts of the strange goings on.

It should be noted that the lady who is identified only as "Gill" (she should have been identified as "Looney Tunes"), saw the UFO on New Year's Eve. Hello!!!!!!! I would bet my life savings that Gill celebrated the New Year by drinking a case of beer. It's not unusual for folks to report seeing not only UFO's but Elvis at Burger King on New Year's Eve.

The crazy lady saw the pink UFO as she and her brood were watching a fireworks display. Hello!!!!! I would bet my house and my car, that the "UFO" was part of the fireworks display.

I love the British Tabloids, thanks for giving me a hearty chuckle.

Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter:

Robert Paul Reyes is a NewsBlaze writer on Politics, Pop Culture and Pointless Pontificating. Contact him by writing to NewsBlaze.

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Jan 11, 2010

New Year's Eve fireworks display in Caracas

Display location:CARACAS
Date:New Year's Eve

Details: CARACAS, VENEZUELA — As New Year's Eve fireworks blossomed in the darkness over every neighborhood of this city, I was sharing whiskey with a disillusioned Socialist named Armando.

Armando is a slim, graying, middle-aged Web site artist with an indecent sense of humor and a decent command of English left over from his years working in London two decades ago. He was explaining why he helped vote Hugo Chavez into the Venezuelan presidency in 1999 and has lived to regret it.

“I was hoping for a Swedish kind of socialism where everyone gets rich,” Armando said. “Instead, we are getting a Cuban kind of socialism where everyone will be poor.”

Armando and I had just met at a party hosted by mutual friends who live in a house perched on a hill overlooking the city. Like so many homes of the middle class in Caracas, this one stands behind a fence topped with razor wire in a neighborhood that can only be accessed through a guarded gate.

Increasingly, the people living in this and the many other gated communities of Venezuela's capital feel like prisoners behind their walls.

On the surface, Caracas is a modern city that would not look out of place in Southern California. There are supermarkets, shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, freeways choked with traffic, sleek restaurants and attractive neighborhoods of white stucco houses with red tile roofs, barbecues on the porches and American cars in the driveways.

But, throughout the city, bumping up against these pleasant neighborhoods are vast barrios of the poor. Like decrepit, rust-colored Lego blocks, they rise in chaotic piles up the steep hillsides, a home to millions. For too many of these urban poor, crime is their vocation and the people in the nice neighborhoods next door are their prey.

A U.S. State Department travel advisory lists Caracas as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It doesn't feel that way. Yet, over and over, I heard tales of people being robbed at gunpoint on the street or as they sat in cars stopped in traffic. Nights are perpetually balmy, but people now avoid evening strolls and outdoor restaurants. Jewelry, watches and cameras are left at home. Even during a daylight trek in the national park on the mountainside above the city, hikers glance warily over their shoulders to see who is coming up behind.

With oil money, gorgeous Caribbean beaches and fun-loving people, life should be good here, but, instead, it is going haywire. It is the fault of Hugo Chavez — at least that is what many of the people in the nice houses say. He has done nothing to defend them against the criminals from the barrios, they believe, because the barrios are his political base. In fact, they allege, Chavez has brought the mindset of the barrios to the government: Steal from the rich and keep it for yourself.

A bank scandal that erupted in December and cost the science and technology minister his job simply confirmed to critics of Chavez that his government is becoming increasingly corrupt, just like the right-wing governments of the past.

Corruption is not the most worrisome problem, though. A far bigger concern here is that freedom is being stolen. In August, the Chavez government forced 34 radio stations off the air and 200 more were under threat of closure. A new law has been proposed that would imprison journalists for publishing material that is deemed harmful to the government. And, over the course of his tenure as president, Chavez has relentlessly pushed to extend his powers and change the constitution so that he can stay in office indefinitely.

While seeking the spotlight on the world stage by confronting U.S. presidents and bonding with other bombastic renegades like Cuba's Fidel Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez maintains his base of support at home by stoking the fires of class hatred and war fever. In November, he urged the nation to prepare to defend the homeland against an imaginary attack from Colombia and the U.S.

Chavez is fast becoming another Latin American caudillo — a posturing autocrat intent on perpetuating his one-man rule. And yet, there are still many good people in Caracas who remain supportive of his cause.

I had dinner at the home of two such Chavistas — a husband and wife, both doctors, who entertained me graciously. While not unaware of their president's flaws, they continue to cling to the ideals that compelled so many to support him. After long centuries in which the privileged few amassed fortunes on the backs of the impoverished many, the rise of Chavez seemed to offer, at last, an opportunity to bring education, medical care and opportunity to the country's vast underclass. My hosts, along with many others, are not ready to relinquish that opportunity.

The most interesting conversation I had that evening was with Alicia, the 25-year-old daughter of the doctors. Alicia (I have changed her name, as I have “Armando's,” for the sake of privacy) works for one of five municipalities that run the civic affairs of Caracas. In her municipality of Chacao, the crime problem has been significantly abated through education, community development and professional policing, Alicia told me.

It is a success story that, one would think, the Chavez government would be eager to emulate, but Chacao is run by the opposition party, as are three of the other four municipalities. Instead of acknowledging the success, Chavez has opted to protect his power base in the one municipality his party runs by creating an extra-constitutional post from which a lackey can overrule the opposition-party mayor of Caracas.

Respectfully at odds with her parents' political sentiments, Alicia has chosen to keep working for the betterment of her city and country. In this, she seems at odds with many of her peers.

I spoke to a number of other young Venezuelans who expressed hopelessness about the future. They are college-educated, English-speaking sons and daughters of the middle class. Every one of them talked of leaving for Canada, Europe, the United States or other countries in South America.

Disembarking with me from my flight into Caracas, a young Venezuelan man pointed at the ubiquitous government propaganda posters in the airport, the giant photos of Chavez and a map of Venezuela printed in bold, socialist red. Despairing at what his country is becoming, the young man said if he didn't have his mother to care for, he'd pack up his family and follow his sister to Houston.

An hour after midnight on Jan. 1, the fireworks still were bursting like bombs over Caracas. Armando watched the explosions of light with melancholy eyes. Alluding to his time in London, he recalled observing that, after a millennium of religious strife, ideological conflict and too many ruthless men with big ideas, Europeans had finally learned from all their suffering.

“Venezuela is still a young country,” Armando said. “Maybe we haven't suffered enough.”

In the first uncertain days of a new year, many middle class Venezuelans fear suffering is on the horizon.

2010 the Urban Development Corporation's annual fireworks display

Display location:Kingston Harbour
Date:December 31

Details: Thursday night, when fireworks lit up the skies over Kingston Harbour, Sylvester Johnson tightly held on to his son Kareem's legs - he was sitting on his shoulders. The youngster beamed with joy as the dazzling, coloured lights, accompanied by onomatopoeic explosions, created fleeting works of art above the polluted waters. But Sylvester was looking at the sea, which he had jumped into many times, years ago.

It was the late 1970s and Jamaica was in political turmoil. Sylvester was having his own maelstrom. A homeless boy he was, whose hobby was diving into the harbour several times a day. The waterfront was his home, other homeless boys his family. The streets were his school, and did he learn a lot. Now, the melange of good and bad memories had transported him from the present - he didn't hear the very loud climactic sounds that heralded in 2010.

The camaraderie with the other boys, the fights, the sharing of food afterwards, the deaths by drowning, the disappearances, the pursuits by the police. The men who drove by at nights trying to seduce them with gifts and money. The teacher woman who promised to school him, but kept him at home as a servant.

When he decided enough was enough and refused to wash her undies, she called the police to say he had broken into her house. The trip to the police station and the leap over a high wall after he bolted from the police car when the lone lawman got out to urinate along the road. Scenes of those and more he watched in the reflections of the lights from the calm waters.

But, it was when the face of the woman he saw at North Parade started to emerge from the glare that the sea became black once more and Kareem shook him from his reverie. He stooped as his 10-year-old burden of a son jumped from his broad shoulders. He held his hand and they headed to Parade via King Street.

More flashbacks

Sylvester's pace was fast. Tired, little Kareem struggled to keep up with him. "Can't we get a cab, Dad?" he whined. "Soon!" was the short response. He had to see her again.

The walk up King Street brought back more flashbacks. But, how much it had changed. Dirtier, it certainly was. Too many buildings in need of renovation, he thought. Where is Time Store? He wondered. He didn't see it on the way down. And all those fast-food stores.

At the top of King Street, at South Parade, he turned east, homeless people lined the sidewalk. His heart beat faster as he turned on to North Parade. He glanced about, but she was not around. He looked again, but the woman in the red head wrap was nowhere to be seen. People were all around heading back home.

At the taxi stand, in front of The Captain's Bakery, he boarded a cab. Kareem was first in. He rested his head on his father's leg and fell asleep immediately. Sylvester rested an arm around Kareem's waist, and his thoughts went back to the events of the day.

He was back in Jamaica after being away for years. Bitterness had kept the divorced, single father at bay. This year, however, he won over. He wanted to show his son his roots. From New York they had arrived two days before Christmas. They had a good time but, deep down, Sylvester hoped that he would have gone back to New York with a lighter heart.

Thursday, on his way to the waterfront he gave Kareem a tour of sections of downtown Kingston. At Parade, he circled the recently renovated St William Grant Park, as he told the wide-eyed Kareem about the place he had frequented as a homeless youth. He was about to tell him about the unsightly Ward Theatre, when he saw a woman leaning against the wall that enclosed the park, across from the Rollington Town taxis.

He stopped and stared at her. "You know her?" Kareem asked. "No," a confused-looking Sylvester replied. Kareem tugged his hand, and they continued down East Parade. Sylvester became silent no longer the upbeat tour guide he was. All the way down King Street the woman was on his mind - that face, her face was so familiar, only that it was older.

When the taxi reached his hotel, he brought the sleeping Kareem to their room. After tucking him in, he took a shower, had some ginger wine on the rocks, then went to bed. But all night he didn't sleep a wink. The face haunted him.

The meeting

Friday morning, he brought Kareem to stay by a long-time friend of his who, too, was vacationing in Kingston. Into another taxi he jumped. The woman's face was calling. Strange, but he was nervous. The journey seemed longer than usual. Upon arrival, he saw her, at the very spot she was the day before. As he approached her, his heart raced. He knew her, he was sure. But she was fatter and had aged, looking so much different from the last time he had set eyes upon her, over 30 years ago.

"Babsy?" Sylvester enquired timidly.

The woman raised her head. Her eyes were closed. Slanting her head to one side, she asked, "Who it is?" Her voice echoed in his skull, as it did many times before.

"A say, who it is? Yuh giving me something?" She was now holding on to the white cane resting on a thigh.

Sylvester stood speechless. His throat got tight. Then the tears, and the memories of Miss Babsy came in torrents. He fell to his knees and cried uncontrollably. He held her sore and swollen legs, and squeezed them.

"Clear off!" the woman cried out.

"Mama!, it's me, Sylvester!" he whispered through his sobs.

"Sylvester! Sylvester!?"

This time he answered her, unlike the day when she gave him the last beating.

"Sylvester! Sylvester!" she shouted - the meal of dumplings and butter was ready. It was after she gave him a sound spanking for coming back from the shop with steel wool that was 'married' to flour. But Sylvester was gone. Tired and weary Sylvester had gone, just as his 'father', the man who called him a 'jacket' had disappeared.

Now, he was at her gangrenous feet, weeping as a child. Miss Babsy held his balding head, which he rubbed against her knee and said, "Never mind, my son, never mind."

Boom, boom, pow! Fireworks Display in January

Display location: Catawba Meadows Park
Date:January 9

Details: Morganton, NC - Fireworks usually aren't a mid-winter treat, but on Saturday a group of pyrotechnic trainees lit the afternoon sky above Catawba Meadows Park during a certification and training course.
The group of approximately 50 fireworks professionals took part of a certification course to comply with a new North Carolina law that goes into effect Feb. 1. The law requires all pyrotechnicians to complete eight hours of training and a written exam administered by the N.C. Department of Insurance.
The law stems from a Fourth of July fireworks explosion on Ocracoke Island. Four workers from Melrose Pyrotechnics of York County, S.C., died in the blast.
The N.C. Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined Melrose Pyrotechnics of York County, S.C., almost $45,000 for safety violations, although the specific cause of the explosion is still unknown.
David Thompson, Table Rock Pyrotechnic Services, said previously, pyrotechnicians only needed a N.C. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms license.
Table Rock Pyrotechnic Services, a Burke County based fireworks operation, and Zambelli sponsored the Saturday morning class and afternoon live shooting course. Instructors came from Pennsylvania and Florida and participants came from across the state.
Rob Roegner, engineering services liaison with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said the certification class covers the safety basics of working with pyrotechnics.
The live shooting course demonstrated shooting fireworks manually and electrically and included engineered accidents in a controlled environment, Roegner said. Professionals must complete six shootings to acquire certification, which is valid for three years.
Gregg Gettys, a member of Table Rock Pyrotechnic Services, said, "I think (the law) has been a long time coming. It should have been done earlier."
Thompson agreed, but said the quick implementation of the law has created a less than smooth ride.
The course on Saturday is one of the first in the state, Roegner said. Several more have been scheduled across the state in the upcoming weeks.
Thompson said Table Rock Pyrotechnic Services has about 70 members in the club who will need to be trained.
Table Rock Pyrotechnics began in 1982 and has provided the fireworks for the City of Morganton's Fourth of July and festival events, at local high schools and at various shows in the region.

Fireworks display to celetrate the opening of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament

Display location:LUANDA

Details: LUANDA, Angola — Fireworks lit up Luanda on Sunday as traditional and contemporary performers broke into interweaving dance in a ceremony to mark the opening of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament.

The ceremony was held at a giant, Chinese-built stadium, just two days after an armed attack on the Togo team bus left three dead.

A minute's silence was due to be observed ahead of the Angola-Mali kick-off later Sunday.

"Despite the terrorist attack, Cabinda will remain a hosting city," Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos said in an opening speech. "There is no need to be afraid."

Several African heads of state were present, including President Ruphia Banda of Zambia and South Africa's Jacob Zuma, whose country will host the World Cup later this year.

Fireworks display on Burj Khalifa

Display location: Burj Khalifa
City: Dubai
Country: Dubai
Date: Dec.28

Details:Its launch was spectacular, but can the world’s tallest building draw tourists to Dubai, asks BERNICE HARRISON

IT WAS NEVER going to be an intimate party for a handful of the sheikh’s closest friends. For many reasons, the only way to launch the Burj Dubai, the tallest man-made structure on the planet, last Monday was with a jaw-dropping fireworks display in front of an estimated 5,000 guests.

The pyrotechnics were the finishing touches to an already spectacular evening that began for about 300 VIP guests with a drinks reception – water and juice – on the ground floor of the tower (burj is Arabic for tower), where, for most men, the dress code appeared to be immaculate white dishdashas and red-and-white headscarves; many of the relatively few women in the VIP section toted giant designer handbags to go with their jewel-hemmed abayas. Gold Louis Vuitton totes, as big as weekend cases, were the most spotted.

Once seated on squashy sofas in a viewing section – for a reason I can’t fathom I was only a dozen seats along from the party’s host, and Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum – the spectacle began.

Ten parachutists drifted down from the sky, carrying giant flags bearing the sheikh’s picture and looking like extras in a Bond movie, while a giant air balloon hovered for no apparent reason in the sky. The fountain in the man-made lake in front of the tower kicked off with a dazzling water display, shooting jets of water 30m into the sky in time to traditional Arabic music.

Rubberneckers in this part of the world aren’t discreet. Before the giant video screen giving the history of the project boomed into action, lines of men stood staring at the seated sheikh (who was flanked by his government ministers), as if being that close to him was simply enough.

The building’s vital statistics were kept a secret until the last minute – about 800m tall had always been the official figure – for fear the owners of some other skyscraper might stick a mast on top of their building and claim the glory. After seven years of construction Dubai wasn’t going to be trumped – but in reality no other building is even close, and there were gasps from the crowd as a counter on the screen clicked away until 828m was revealed as the height.

That announcement was expected, and it had people around me tweeting and blogging the news, but the revelation of a name change was a major surprise and even more newsworthy. It’s been the Burj Dubai since the first sod was turned, in 2003, but it is now the Burj Khalifa, after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, who is president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of nearby Abu Dhabi, which has been bailing out debt-ridden Dubai.

As the tower is going to be mostly a tourist attraction instead of a symbol of property development, the name change from the easy-to-Google Burj Dubai is going to be a less catchy sell.

Looking up at the astonishing structure as smoke from the fireworks wafted through the choreographed light show beaming out from the tower, it was easy to believe the dizzying statistics. Burj Khalifa, which can be seen from 95km away, has 28,000 windows, 1,044 apartments, 160 hotel rooms and 49 floors of offices.

The floor that will draw tourists like a magnet is the world’s loftiest observation deck, up at level 124, which has floor-to-ceiling glass panels giving 360-degree views. Those who want to test their head for heights can step out on to the terrace. The deck opened to the public on Tuesday with an entrance fee of about €17.

Access to the deck is via one of several lifts that are also record breakers. At 504m they have the highest elevator rise, although they cover that vertical ground in less than a minute.

The anchor tenant, the Armani Hotel, which will take up the first 37 floors of the building, is not due to open until March 18th, but the Italian designer promises a “lifestyle experience”, saying “with this hotel I am bringing the ‘Stay with Armani’ promise to reality.”

Industry analysts will be watching to see if his five-star hotel can command premium prices in a city crowded with five- and even so-called seven-star establishments that have had to drop their prices in the past 12 months.

The first residents of the Burj, the owners of the 140 apartments in the Armani Residences, will move in early next month; other residents and corporate tenants get their keys in March.

Despite the astonishing spectacle of the fireworks, a long-time Middle East commentator remarked to me, as we made our way out through the crowd, how restrained the whole event was – relative, that is, to the way it had been for the past 10 years, when this part of the world defined blinging excess. There was a time, he said, when entire planeloads of Hollywood A-listers would have been flown in for a launch of this magnitude. Not any more.

Fireworks display over downtown Grand Rapids

Display location:Grand Rapids
City:Grand Rapids

Details: GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A Hannah Montana look-alike from Holland is one of several performers in downtown Grand Rapids this weekend looking for work at the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions Convention.

Delegates from more than 85 events are learning about everything, from food sanitation to shopping for entertainment.

The convention caps off Saturday night with a fireworks display over downtown Grand Rapids. The convention is not open to the public, but the fireworks will be viewable by anyone.

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Jan 10, 2010

Grand Rapids may see fireworks show this weekend

Display location:GRAND RAPIDS

Details: GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Grand Rapids could be getting a special display of fireworks this weekend.

Saturday night will wrap up the 125th Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions and the executive director wants to celebrate with a 15 to 20 minute fireworks display.

The city commission plans to meet Wednesday morning at 7:30 to decide whether to allow it or not.

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Jan 8, 2010

Reno plans spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display

Display location:Reno
Date:New Year's Eve
Display conpany:Lantis Fireworks

Details: Ten tons of pyrotechnics, bright new lights arching over the Virginia Street casino strip, ice skating and a variety of hotel parties will make for an explosive, if chilly, New Year's Eve in Reno.

Ken Lantis, owner of Lantis Fireworks and Lasers of Draper, Utah, says the aerial display, to be launched from the top of four hotel towers, will be more concentrated, the explosions closer together, than typical fireworks shows in Las Vegas which are spread out over a larger area. Canceled last year because of budget cuts, the reinstated midnight spectacular is sponsored by a handful of downtown casinos and the City of Reno.

Fireworks will be launched from the top of two Silver Legacy Hotel towers and the roofs of the Cal Neva and Harrah's. Pyrotechnics will be choreographed to the music of Michael Jackson, says Lantis, whose company has staged fireworks shows around the world.

The 15-minute display is an optimum time for the winter production, he says. "We want the show to bring people up and let them down, then bring them up again. When they walk back inside, they're exhausted at seeing fireworks," he says. "We want people to say they've never seen anything like it."

Boulevard celebrants will also see new lights that seem to twinkle brighter above Virginia Street - in the city's trademark arch. Some 2,076 incandescent bulbs were recently replaced with high-energy 2.5-watt LED bulbs as part of a city energy efficiency program.

The city's Rink on the River will also be open for ice skating, until 11 p.m. Next to the Truckee River, where it flows under the Virginia Street Bridge, the rink offers skate rentals and will be open, weather permitting. Heavy rain, snow or temperatures that are too warm for the ice, will close the rink, although the latter possibility is unlikely. The average low January temperature in Reno is 22 degrees. To keep visitors warm, hotel casinos have planned an assortment of New Year's Eve parties, listed above. {sbox}

Atlantis Hotel Casino:
3800 S. Virginia St. Live entertainment, casino-wide balloon drop, party hats, free cake and champagne toast. (800) 723-6500,

El Dorado Hotel Casino:
345 N. Virginia St. Live Dave Reinhart concert starts at 10 p.m. for $10 at Brew Brothers and Abbacadabra performs the music of ABBA at 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets from $29.95. (800) 648-5966,

219 N. Center St. Motown group Patton Leatha performs at a 10:30 p.m. dance party. $45, champagne and party favors. (800) 427-7247,

John Ascuaga's Nugget:
1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks. Dance party featuring The Blasters with the Saddletramps 9:30 p.m. $35 includes party favors and champagne toast. (800) 648-1177,

Peppermill Hotel Casino:
2707 Virginia St. Edge Nightclub's 2nd Annual Masquerade Ball 9 p.m. Victorian themed party, $60 including champagne toast and mask. (775) 232-8095,

Rink on the River:
10 N. Virginia Plaza. Adults, $7, children 3-12, $5. Rentals $2. (775) 334-6268,

Silver Legacy Hotel Casino:
407 N. Virginia St. Three different party options range from $20 to $124.50, the latter including a filet mignon dinner show featuring the music of Hip Service. (800) 687-8733,

E-mail the writer at

New Year's Eve celebration to feature fireworks display

Display location:PEORIA
Date:New Year Eve

Details: PEORIA — Red, white and ... Happy New Year?

An annual Fourth of July tradition matches up with New Year's Eve this month along Peoria's riverfront for a first-time event.

Pat Sullivan, co-owner of Kelleher's Irish Pub & Eatery, said a fireworks show, weather permitting, will take place about 9 p.m. Dec. 31 outside his restaurant at the Le Vieux Carre building.

"Plenty will be going on with the restaurants open, and we'll serve Irish coffee and hot chocolate," Sullivan said. "We want to light up the new year."

Sullivan said the fireworks show will be similar to displays often held after Peoria Chiefs baseball games. The show will be produced by Central States Fireworks out of Athens, Ill.

In addition, Sullivan said he plans to ask the city to close Water Street from State to Walnut streets to create a street festival-like atmosphere. A request for that has yet to be made to the city's public works or fire departments.

"I think we'd probably consider it," Public Works Director David Barber said. "We have not seen anything on it, though."

Sullivan said he might make the request early next week.

"I'm working on that," Sullivan added. "Just to close it (for the night) for people to get a feel for it."

He said liquor will not be sold outdoors during the fireworks show.

Sullivan wants to close Water Street on a more permanent basis next year. His proposal calls for closing the street from State to Walnut every night between 4 p.m. and midnight, allowing for outdoor entertainment and street dining. A request for that is expected to be heard before the liquor commission early next year.

As for New Year's Eve, Sullivan said wants it to serve as a "preview" for his more long-term plans.

"It's a preview of what we want to do with a beautiful setting and a great atmosphere," he said.

He also said it's important for Peoria businesses to find unique ways to draw visitors to Downtown during the winter months, when entertainment activities are less frequent than during the summer months.

"I've gone up in the wintertime to Milwaukee and Green Bay, and they have festivals year round," Sullivan said. "Peoria just starts in May and quits in August."

Sullivan also hopes this year's show leads to a bigger New Year's Eve fireworks show in the future. He said he wanted to have a bigger production this year but didn't have the time to plan for it all.

"We want to do four or five (different fireworks displays) simultaneously throughout the Peoria area and to be a state draw," he said. "We want to have people come here and spend money and see something they don't see in their own cities."

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Jan 7, 2010

Fireworks display magic has Doha aglow

Display location:West Bay

Details: Spectacular fireworks illuminated the Corniche and the West Bay sky in a fitting finale to the week-long Qatar National Day celebrations yesterday evening.
The city’s most popular location was crowded with people gathering to witness the pyrotechnic show, an important part of the celebrations.
The evening was a true reflection of Qatar’s culture as men, women and children of all nationalities joined in celebrating the day.
The visitors were also impressed with the lighting and other decorations adorning the Corniche road and surrounding buildings.
The fireworks show was undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of yesterday’s programme as it was the event everyone was looking forward to. The Australians who staged the display did not disappoint the crowds who lined the Corniche and occupied rooftops.
For over a quarter of an hour, the sky was aglow with a riot of colours and the city echoed with the boom of fireworks.
As soon as the display got under way exactly at 8pm as promised, screams and cheers could be heard all along the Corniche.
Youngsters were the most vocal in their delight. Cars moving on the waterfront stopped for the show.
The scale of the show was incredible, and the colours over the Doha night sky provided a memorable sight that could be seen from all over the city.Organisers told Gulf Times they were “impressed” with the large number of people who attended the events on the National Day.
The image of the Corniche with its highly developed West Bay skyline being showered in gold was an appropriate finale to the day-long celebrations.
The excitement that overwhelmed the crowd was evident as cars with enthusiastic people waving flags filled the city’s roads.

New Year's Eve Fireworks Show

Display location:Inner Harbor
City: Baltimore
Date: Jan. 1
Display company:Pyrotecnico

Details: Derek Valcourt has more on the preparations underway for the Ports of America fireworks celebration at the Inner Harbor.

There's a new company running the fireworks show this year and workers from Pyrotecnico are putting the finishing touches on what they promise will be one of Baltimore's best shows ever.

Same barges, same Inner Harbor, same holiday, but there's a different fireworks company. Pyrotecnico will bring their high-tech take on fireworks to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The award-winning company uses special computers to fire the show and synchronize each barge and the music to GPS satellite clocks.

There are three barges packed with more than 5,000 explosives.

"Within the first 30 seconds of the show, people are going to be like, `OK, we're in for something really good,'" said Rocco Vitale, Pyrotecnico.

Another new aspect to the show is something called the Pyrodome, invented by Pyrotecnico. It will be placed right in the Inner Harbor, and chances are it's like nothing you've ever seen before. It's been described as a giant wall of color with all kinds of special effects.

"I think you'll see things in our fireworks show that you've never seen before in Baltimore, so we're excited," said Tracey Baskerville, Baltimore Promotion and the Arts.

Workers spent all week preparing the barges, but they've been planning the show for months.

No matter where you are in the Inner Harbor, organizers say you are going to have a great view of the fireworks show. But perhaps the best seat is going to be on your own couch because WJZ is going to broadcast the entire show live at Smith's Shipyard in Curtis Bay.

Entertainment starts at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. If the show can't go on because of the weather, it will launch Jan. 1 at 7 p.m.

For more information on Pyrotecnico, click here.

Special fireworks display effects will dazzle at Burj Dubai

Display location:Burj Dubai area
Date:Jan 04

Destails:Dubai The inauguration of Burj DubaiBurj Dubai — the world's tallest building — will feature a spectacular display of fireworks, light beams, choreographed water displays and sound and music effects that will portray the evolution of the world's most iconic new building in a breathtaking sensory journey.

In all, 868 high-powered stroboscope lights will be integrated into the facade of Burj DubaiBurj Dubai and the tower's spire — and each stroboscope will be operated individually to create a series of hypnotic lighting sequences.

The entire display is controlled by a sophisticated arrangement of ultra-high-tech IT systems, which choreograph at least 50 sequences of lighting, fireworks, water and sound effects.

Event experts from France, Britain and the United States collaborated on the project, demonstrating the global spirit of teamwork which defines Burj DubaiBurj Dubai itself.

Powerful strobelights will be fixed near the pinnacle of the tower, and six "narrow beam" searchlights will be positioned 700 metres up the tower.

The entire inauguration consists of a pre-show and three themed acts — From the Desert Flower to Burj DubaiBurj Dubai, Heart Beat, and From Dubai and the UAE to the World — and a fireworks finale.

A giant screen on Burj Park Island as well as several television screens located in Downtown Burj Dubai including the Waterfront Promenade, will convey the inauguration to the spectators.

The international media, including Dubai TV, will broadcast the event worldwide.

The public can watch the inauguration from the Waterfront Promenade adjacent to The Dubai Mall.

The inauguration begins with a short film depicting the story of Dubai and the evolution of the Burj DubaiBurj Dubai as the world's tallest building.

The carefully choreographed sound, light, water and fireworks display will follow.

The first act in the light and sound show, themed From the Desert Flower to Burj DubaiBurj Dubai, is a co-ordinated water, light and fireworks display.

Guests can watch the unfolding of the desert lily, Hymenocallis, the design inspiration of the Burj DubaiBurj Dubai.

The segment ends with a rhythmic water and fireworks show.

The second act, Heart Beat, captures the construction of the tower in a dynamic light show.

An astonishing example of technological innovation, the display recreates the effect of a beating heart and uses no fewer than 300 space cannon projectors to generate a shadow-like image of the tower.

In the third act, From Dubai and the UAE to the World, sky tracers envelop the tower in a strong halo of white light before reproducing the sunbeams of the developer's corporate logo.

These then expand in all directions as the lighting rig on the tower's spire activates.

In its spectacular finale, the show will feature an impressive show of 10,000 fireworks on and from the tower.

The sparkling display will illuminate the entire Downtown Burj Dubai area.

Fireworks displays in Central Park

Display location:Central Park
City:New York
Date:New Year’s Eve

Details: From deep inside a cubicle on the first official workday of 2010 for the hats-and-noisemakers crowd, a question came to mind: How did the people who worked while the rest of the city partied on New Year’s Eve spend their Monday? Were they still slaving away, if you can use that word about people who orchestrate ball drops in Times Square and mastermind fireworks displays in Central Park?

Jeffrey A. Straus, the chief executive of the company that produces the New Year’s Eve celebration at 1 Times Square, was not in his office, high above where it all happened as the clock ticked down the final moments of the old year. He was working, he said, but from home, in Armonk, N.Y.

“I’m working on getting people paid,” he said, a chore that he said involved going through invoices and budgets. “The last week of the year, so much stuff gets put to the side as far as paperwork goes,” he said, “and you wake up on Jan. 1 after you’ve slept for 18 hours, and you realize you’ve got to get that done.”

Except that the brand-new calendar said Monday was Jan. 4.

Mr. Straus’s Jan. 1 was Rip Van Winklish. He left Times Square at about 5:15 a.m., as he usually does after tidying up after the ball has dropped. “Typically, I’m up by late afternoon” on New Year’s Day, he said, “but this time, I got up, had a late lunch and went back to bed. It was that kind of a year.”

Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, said he spent Monday “going through the piles of work which were deliciously deferred in December.” Some had been shoved aside, literally. He said that in anticipation of New Year’s Eve and a small crowd watching from his office, which has a view of guess what, he moved the things some people would have left in their inbox.

“I completely cleared all the surfaces and made the office very neat,” he said.

The revelers left traces of the night behind. He said there was a carpet of confetti when he arrived on Monday morning. “It adds a little color to the office,” he said. “It takes away from the gravitas.”

Ken Furstoss of Pyrotecnico, the fireworks company that staged the display in Central Park in connection with the New York Road Runners club’s four-mile midnight run, said that he spent Monday going over paperwork. “We do 35 percent of one year’s work in one weekend over the Fourth of July,” he said, “You have to get started on the contracts and the logistics early.”

Brian Carroll, a researcher for “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2010,” spent much of last week trying to find answers to questions from the writers on the show. On Monday, he said, “I’m not doing anything — I’m unemployed.”

“The job is over,” said Mr. Carroll, a freelancer who lives in the Los Angeles area, “and it wasn’t as late as you think on New Year’s Eve, because I’m on the West Coast. The people doing the writing were done at midnight East Coast time.”

He said he stayed up until about 2:30 a.m. “to see my name on the credits” at the end of the show.

Christmas Eve Fireworks Spectacular Show

Display location:Goondiwindi
Date:Christmas Eve

Details: WHILE the Lions and helpers were working at Riddles Oval prior to the fireworks, Santa and his helpers distributed gifts to the residents of Kaloma and patients at the Hospital on Christmas Eve.
Father Christmas, his lovely assistants Isobella Anderson and Ainslie Bell, and the Lion’s Lion put a little Christmas cheer onto their faces as they patrolled the corridors seeking out those who had been good this year.

Once these visits were over, it was on to the oval where Santa and his crew distributed lollies to a huge crowd of children from his sleigh before the fireworks from Skyward Entertainment set the night alight with colour.

Wayne Banks from the Lions Club said there was a bigger crowd than usual at Riddles Oval this year.

“It was chock-a-block with people,” Wayne said.

Thirty-five members of the Lions Club, along with helpers from Rotary and Apex cooked almost 1200 steaks, 40kg of sausages, 40kg of Dagwood Dogs and 150kgs of chips.

The fact that all that was left over were a couple of trays of steak and a dozen bags of chips is a great indication of the size of the crowd.

“The Lions Club would like to thank the carollers for their efforts on the night.

The carollers were Rose Reeves-Sharpe, Stacey Otto, Eddie Campbell, Denis and Isis Nonan, Sam and Bonnie Jessen, and Leonardo Nonal, Terry Valmonte, Sherwin and Arnel with a special thanks to the boys from Weapon Head who looked after the sound equipment all night,” Wayne said.

THANKS Gundy! You have done yourself proud!

The Goondiwindi Lions Club would like to thank everyone who came to the Christmas Eve Fireworks Spectacular and especially for leaving the ovals and surrounding areas in such a clean and tidy condition.

Thank you all for your thoughtfulness.

The Lions Club members arrived back at 5a.m Christmas Day to clean up and were very impressed and appreciative of how clean the grounds were left after the record crowd that attended the celebrations the night before.

A great sight to see!

Also a big thank you to all the businesses and individuals who donated money towards the fireworks and to the many volunteers, our service clubs, Lions, Rotary and Apex, the Scout group, and also the parents and students from the High School Gallipoli Tour who helped on the night.

The success of the night was due to a lot of work from many different volunteers and we thank you all for a great family night in Goondiwindi.

Hope to see you all there again next year!

Peter Smith


The Goondiwindi Lions Club Inc.

Dazzling fireworks display light up world's tallest tower

Display location:Dubai
Date:January 4.

Details: Burj Dubai, the world's tallest tower that stands at 828 metres high, was on Monday inaugurated by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad, who sprang a surpise by renaming the skyscraper 'Burj Khalifa', after the United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa.

Blazing fireworks and dazzling lights marked the opening of the world's tallest tower that pips all its nearest rivals, including the 101-storey high Taipei Tower in Taiwan.

Sheikh Mohammad inaugurated the tower in a colourful ceremony featuring dazzling laser lights, fireworks display and a choreographed water display on the Dubai fountains which stretch for 275 metres at the foot of the tower.

The 11-minute scenario consisted of a pre-show and three acts; the Hymenocalis flower, heart beat and the firework display finale. The extravaganza was managed by event architect company Prisme International, said its CEO Pierre Marcout.

The finale act saw a magnificent show of 10,000 firework effects on and from the tower, estimated to be the highest ever in the world reaching 850m in height and lasting three minutes.

The display was carefully designed by famous Christophe Berthonneau of the Groupe F Company who also produced the 1998 World Cup at Stade de France and the New Year's Eve 2000 by the Eiffel Tower and the Olympic Games in Athens. Click NEXT to read further. . .

Image: Fireworks explode around the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest tower, during the opening ceremony in Dubai on January 4.

New Year's fireworks show

Display location:Baltimore
Date:New Year's Eve

Details: Baltimore's New Year's fireworks went off precisely at midnight, on time and on schedule, despite low attendance in a sputtering, cold rain and a dense fog that obscured the highest and brightest pyrotechnic displays as they exploded over the Inner Harbor.

Some residents are questioning the decision to shoot off the fireworks and not delay a day, as the city did the year before, when a stiff wind made it too dangerous to shoot explosives into the air. But the executive director of Baltimore's Office of Promotion and the Arts said the only reason to postpone the event is for public safety.

"It's unfortunate that the low ceiling did create a problem with the higher fireworks," said the director, Bill Gilmore, who watched the display from the deck of the Constellation. "But to call it off because the quality might not be what you want is not a good decision."

He estimated the Inner Harbor crowd to be about 30,000, down from a typical 100,000. He also said that though it was rainy and foggy, there was no wind, which also can create problems because the smoke from fireworks lingers instead of blowing away and offering a clearer view of the displays.

Fog seemed to move quickly into downtown just after the first bursts shot into the air. As the 18-minute show went on, fog obscured some of the tallest downtown buildings. From Federal Hill rooftops, the three barges were visible but rockets designed to fly high quickly disappeared, and at times only the bottom half of ball-shaped displays were visible. During the final minutes, the clouds lit up but even the colorful finale was shrouded.

Paul W. Robinson, the head of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, watched the display from his rooftop deck and from Federal Hill Park. "I'm sure it would've been much more impressive had it been a clear night," he said.

Cathy Strodel, who lives in Federal Hill, said she accompanied a group of friends down to the harbor minutes before midnight and ended up scoring a great spot because so few people were there. But they had a hard time seeing the fireworks.

"The fog just kind of cut them off; it was hard to see how beautiful they were," she said.

The decision to cancel or go ahead with the fireworks is made by representatives from the police and fire departments and the city's emergency management office, with input from Gilmore's office and officials from the company that provided the fireworks. Ports America, a harbor terminal operator, paid more than $100,000 for the display.

Gilmore said pushing the fireworks back a day would mean towing the three barges back to Curtis Bay and then putting them back out the next evening. The company would foot the bill - provisions to cover the cost of delays related to inclement weather are in the contract - but he said the city would have to pay to deploy extra police and fire personnel.

Not shooting off the fireworks, Gilmore said, "would disappoint the people who came down and weathered the storm. ... You would've gotten a whole lot of complaints if we didn't do the display. We're lucky we were able to continue the tradition this year."

Private funding for next year's New Year's display is not yet in place, he said.

Grand Rapids may see fireworks display this weekend

Display location:Grand Rapids

Details: GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Grand Rapids could be getting a special display of fireworks this weekend.

Saturday night will wrap up the 125th Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions and the executive director wants to celebrate with a 15 to 20 minute fireworks display.

The city commission plans to meet Wednesday morning at 7:30 to decide whether to allow it or not.

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Jan 4, 2010

Fun and fireworks show

Display location:Waikiki
City:Hilton Hawaiian Village
Date:every Friday night at 7:45

Details: Waikiki is one of Hawaii's busiest tourist areas, with luxury hotels edging miles of white-sand beach on the edge of downtown Honolulu. But it's easy to find low-cost or free fun around Waikiki. Among the options:

• Hula shows on the beach. Lots of Hawaiian hotels stage luaus that include hula, and you can pay a lot to see them. Or you can enjoy the free, authentic Hawaiian music and hula shows by some of Hawaii's finest dance troupes and performers Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting) at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, beachside at Uluniu and Kalakaua avenues in Waikiki. Opens with traditional blowing of a conch shell. It's 6:30-7:30 p.m. most of the year, or 6-7 p.m. November through January. Seating on the grass; beach chairs, mats, etc., OK and cameras are welcome. For information, call 808-843-8002.

• Music and movies on the beach. "Sunset on the Beach" is a series of free movie nights, usually a couple nights a month, with a large screen set up on Queen's Beach in Waikiki. Live musical performances precede the 7 p.m. movies, and dinner is available from local food wagons. Check the schedule at

• Band concerts at the palace. The Royal Hawaiian Band, founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III and claiming today to be the only full-time municipal band in the United States, gives free concerts at noon most Fridays on the lawn in front of 'Iolani Palace, the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last two monarchs — King Kalakaua, who built the palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili'uokalani. It's a short bus ride from Waikiki. More information:

• Tropical farmers market. Even if you don't spend a penny on fresh produce, flowers or breakfast from local vendors, the Saturday farmers market in the parking lot at Kapi'olani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Road, is worth a wander to take in the sights, smells and spectacle. Instead of salmon and local apples like you'd find in Seattle, expect local papaya, fragrant white ginger flowers and apple bananas. Every Saturday, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Get there a half-hour before opening time, everyone else does. See

• A jungle hike. Hike to Manoa Falls, starting from a trailhead within a 20-minute drive of Waikiki, for a great (though muddy) introduction to wild Hawaiian forest — go ahead, call it jungle — complete with hanging vines and philodendron leaves the size of elephant ears. Two miles round trip.

If you don't mind the $5 suggested donation, and you're a fan of long, quiet trails lined with exotic flowers that make the place like an open-air perfume factory, a wander around nearby Lyon Arboretum is well worth your time, too. See

• A free art museum. The Hawai'i State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St., across from 'Iolani Palace, presents a large collection of work by Hawaii artists. See

• Hula and ukulele lessons. Royal Hawaiian Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave., one of Waikiki's main malls, offers free cultural enrichment alongside shopping at Cartier, Hermes and Ferragamo. See for details.

• Friday fireworks. Hilton Hawaiian Village, 2005 Kalia Road, puts on a fireworks show every Friday night at 7:45. A poolside seat for the Rockin' Hawaiian Rainbow Revue, just before the show, is $15. But you can see the fireworks for free from the beach or most anywhere around Waikiki. Details:

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Jan 3, 2010

Fireworks display at Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta

Display location: William F. Judson Convention Center
City:El Paso
Date: December 30

Details: EL PASO -- Several thousand people showed up at the Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta to get in the party spirit before tomorrow's big game.

"This is so much fun, we come every year," said El Pasoan Connie Hunt, 44. "My favorite part is the music."

The Fan Fiesta at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center.featured musical performances by mariachis and Disco band Fungi Mungle, a dance performance by Danza Azteca, and the Sun Bowl Fireworks Spectacular.

A lively battle of the bands between Stanford and Oklahoma was one of the most-watched demonstrations of the night, with the Stanford band's mascot, known as the Tree, leaving the performance area in the main hall to kiss the hands of the Sun Court princesses gathered on stage.

The Brut Sun Bowl begins at noon Thursday.

Fireworks Display at the Inner Harbor

Display location:Inner Harbor
Date:Jan.1 at 7 p.m
Display company:Pyrotecnico

Details: Derek Valcourt has more on the preparations underway for the Ports of America fireworks celebration at the Inner Harbor.

There's a new company running the fireworks show this year and workers from Pyrotecnico are putting the finishing touches on what they promise will be one of Baltimore's best shows ever.

Same barges, same Inner Harbor, same holiday, but there's a different fireworks company. Pyrotecnico will bring their high-tech take on fireworks to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The award-winning company uses special computers to fire the show and synchronize each barge and the music to GPS satellite clocks.

There are three barges packed with more than 5,000 explosives.

"Within the first 30 seconds of the show, people are going to be like, `OK, we're in for something really good,'" said Rocco Vitale, Pyrotecnico.

Another new aspect to the show is something called the Pyrodome, invented by Pyrotecnico. It will be placed right in the Inner Harbor, and chances are it's like nothing you've ever seen before. It's been described as a giant wall of color with all kinds of special effects.

"I think you'll see things in our fireworks show that you've never seen before in Baltimore, so we're excited," said Tracey Baskerville, Baltimore Promotion and the Arts.

Workers spent all week preparing the barges, but they've been planning the show for months.

No matter where you are in the Inner Harbor, organizers say you are going to have a great view of the fireworks show. But perhaps the best seat is going to be on your own couch because WJZ is going to broadcast the entire show live at Smith's Shipyard in Curtis Bay.

Entertainment starts at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. If the show can't go on because of the weather, it will launch Jan. 1 at 7 p.m.

Sydney Harbour fireworks display ,'best show on earth'

Display location:Sydney
Date:Dec 31

Details: Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, says tonight's harbour fireworks display is now the largest and most advanced in the world, attracting bigger crowds than London or New York.

25,000 shooting comets will be let off during the 9:00pm and midnight shows.

Pyrotechnicians are using microchip technology for the first time meaning the firework bursts can be seen for up to fifteen seconds longer and there will be more blue sparks than ever before - the hardest colour to produce.

Clover Moore wants everyone harbour-side to wear a splash of blue to support the night's theme - Awakening the Spirit.

"I think it is very timely call to awaken our spirit, to change our ways, to nurture our environment, to save our planet and to provide for the future of our children and that's why we've chosen this year's charity partner, the Australian Conservation Foundation, we'll be asking people to turnover a new green leaf for 2010," she said.

The New South Wales Premier, Kristina Keneally, says tonight's harbourside fire works display will also pump $150 million dollars into the state's economy.

The Premier says the event will be broadcast to a billion people around the globe.

"I think it is something that the people of Sydney, and the people of New South Wales, wear with great pride that, when the rest of the world starts to celebrate the new year, they look here first, and we give them the best show on earth in the best city on earth."

Thousands of people have already claimed viewing spots around Sydney Harbour ready for tonight's fireworks.

Police are expecting a crowd of one million, and around 600,000 people are expected to travel to the city by public transport.

Gavin Cumming from Scotland is wearing a kilt and says he was advised to find his viewing spot in the Rocks early.

"It's just a word of mouth really along with the backpackers, we all speak together and we've all discussed this is the place to be and this is the time to be at," he said.

"It's just a tradition back home to wear a kilt and dress up a lot so I thought why not take the kilt with me and do the same here."

Fireworks display in Aberdeen

Display location:Edinburgh Castle
Date:New Year's Eve

Details: Organisers of the city's street party decided to scrap the event following concerns from Northern Constabulary.

Meanwhile up to 80,000 gathered for Edinburgh's street party and revellers saw in the new year at events in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stonehaven.

Heavy snow was forecast for the north-east, with freezing temperatures.

Airport closure

Police in the Highlands said they had rescued motorists stranded on the A9 southbound and urged people not to make unnecessary journeys.

Northern Constabulary Ch Insp Andrew MacLean, said: "The underfoot conditions in Inverness are extremely hazardous and the roads in the city and in the outlying areas are treacherous."

He said for public safety reasons they had recommended that organisers cancel the Hogmanay party.

Meanwhile Inverness airport was closed and several hundred passengers had to find overnight accommodation in the city.

Sixteen passengers, however, opted to stay in the terminal to bring in the new year with champagne and pizza.

Deacon Blue

In Aberdeen a fireworks display lit up the sky over His Majesty's Theatre while the streets of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire were illuminated by the 150-year-old fireball festival.

Elsewhere, Deacon Blue headlined the celebrations taking place in the centre of Glasgow.

In Edinburgh Madness headlined the Concert in the Gardens, while The Enemy, Frightened Rabbit, Stanley Odd and We Were Promised Jetpacks appeared on the Waverley stage.

The new year was heralded by a massive fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle before a laser and light display in Princes Street.

Crowds gathered at the esplanade of Stirling Castle saw in the new year with acts including Sandi Thom and the MacDonald Brothers.