Why don’t we expand New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations beyond Civic? The Civic events can be daunting for families with younger children, the elderly, and those who are less mobile. Fighting through crowds to try to get a reasonable vantage point while keeping track of all your offspring is tricky at the best of times. Some people take significant risks to get a better spot, such as the families who parked on the median strip of Parkes Way. Getting home afterwards can also be gruelling.
Suburbs in other capital cities already hold their own local events to ring in the New Year. Lake Ginninderra and Lake Tuggeranong would be fabulous facilities to have relaxed, community-focused events that could be less stressful for families who want to picnic on the shores. Having a 9 pm fireworks display at our local lakes would be a boon to those who would prefer to not battle traffic and negotiate the crush of crowds.
Canberra’s population has doubled in the last 40 years. Our city is well and truly big enough to support multiple events. In Belconnen particularly, the high-rise apartment buildings house a significant local population and provide an ideal vantage point to enjoy lake fireworks for those without the capability or inclination to attend the Civic celebration.
Having local events promote community spirit and can provide a significant boost for local businesses. The Government should work with the local art centres to fund family-friendly New Year’s Eve events that celebrate the past year and encourage reflection towards the future.
This doesn’t have to be exclusive to New Year’s Eve, of course. Fireworks make any event memorable for children, and they could be included in nearly any part of the year’s celebratory calendar. Australia Day, Queen’s Birthday, Reconciliation Day, Canberra Day – all great potential candidates for local events instead of or in addition to city spectaculars.
What do you think? Is it time to move our public holiday celebrations to the regions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.