8 December 2023

New Year's midnight fireworks scrapped for extended show at family-friendly timeslot

| Lizzie Waymouth
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fireworks over Canberra

New Year’s Eve fireworks along Lake Burley Griffin in 2022. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The annual fireworks by the lake are back, but there will not be a midnight display to see in 2024.

This year, there will be a single extended fireworks show at the more popular time of 9 pm rather than two shorter displays at 9 pm and midnight.

The event will include a 15-minute fireworks spectacular with a synchronised soundtrack.

Assistant Minister for Economic Development Tara Cheyne said previous attendance numbers demonstrated that the community “strongly favours the earlier showtime” as it is more suitable for families.

“This year’s New Year’s Eve event will be a fantastic night in Canberra once again. A single extended fireworks spectacular is planned this year at the more popular time of 9 pm,” she said.

“This year, we are consolidating the same volume of fireworks previously spread across two shows into one huge fireworks spectacular launched from the Central Basin and Commonwealth Bridge to ensure a great view for everyone.

“It is sure to be a memorable experience.”

There will be three event hubs around the lake at premium viewing sites at Rond Terrace, Regatta Point and Commonwealth Place.

“This is a free event – you can bring a picnic or support some of our great local food and drink vendors who will be situated near each hub,” Ms Cheyne said.

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Each viewing point will be filled with music from local DJs Boom Box 2U, while a synchronised soundtrack will accompany the extended fireworks display as it launches from the Central Basin and Commonwealth Bridge to maximise visibility for everyone.

Services and amenities will be dispersed across the three hub areas, including food trucks, first aid, portable toilets and security.

The display can also be seen from Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve, Red Hill Nature Reserve, and other parks and viewpoints in the suburbs of Acton, Civic, Barton, Campbell, Kingston, Reid, Russell, Yarralumla and beyond.

These areas will not have any additional amenities, food vendors or entertainment in place by Events ACT.

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The food vendors will be open from 5:30 pm at the three hub areas along the foreshore and the music will start at 6 pm.

“For those keen to keep the party going after 9 pm, head into the city and support our sensational local venues,” Ms Cheyne said.

Free public transport will be available on the night.

Find out more about Canberra’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, visit the Events ACT website.

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Grahame Ginn12:26 pm 01 Jan 24

At midnight (New Year’s Eve), all around our neighbourhood (Flynn) fireworks could be heard being let off. Some quite nearby. How is it, that folk have access to supplies of fireworks?

Capital Retro11:28 am 30 Dec 23

It will have to be good to beat the one in Lakemba a couple of months ago.

Labor has gotten too comfortable in the ACT. It’s about time for a change.

Won’t happen. The ACT citizen is a rusted on punishment doll and enjoys the Barr and Rattenbury ineptitude. As long as the coffee shop at their workplace serves vegan coffees, Labor has their vote

This is embarrassing for the Nation’s Capital.

Capital Retro3:19 pm 13 Dec 23

Maybe the reason is cost and if it is the government should say so because we need to see that they are at last reining in unnecessary spending.

What a joke. Sure have the 9pm fireworks for the ‘families’ and those who don’t want to see the New Year in. But get real, midnight is the time for the fireworks and they signify the New Year….. not 9pm on the eve of the New Year. I would love to see what the rest of the world thinks of Australia’s capital not having fireworks at midnight and instead we will be the only capital in Australia not having fireworks at midnight and just going to sleep. Stop voting this stupid government back in time and time again.

Why do critics of anything this government does always go back to ‘the tram?’ Whatever point one hopes to make would perhaps be better received if they didn’t harp on like the cranky uncle at Christmas lunch. Really, what exactly is your gripe here? Cost? Really? I would expect the cost of running one big event at 9pm would be marginally less expensive than running two smaller events on the same night. How is this even relevant to ‘the tram? Try harder.

Cristian Gonzalez1:09 pm 11 Dec 23

then whats the point?

Canberrans love festivals and family events and will always turn up in big numbers and enjoy. Call me a party pooper but I think the fireworks are a dreadful waste of money in a time of economic pressures and belt tightening. Canberrans can survive these events and will continue to enjoy without this flagrant waste of taxpayer’s money!

Given firework shows are usually a family affair, concentrating on the family friendlier time of 9:00pm, seems like a (remarkably out of character) reasonable decision from the ACT government to me.

brucewantstobecool8:09 pm 09 Dec 23

I don’t get it. One day they allow cafes to be open until 2am, and the next they cancel the actual NYE fireworks. I sometimes struggle to understand what this government actually wants to achieve.

agree, next the Govt will want to celebrate NYE on another day because 31 Dec doesn’t suit someone.

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