EDMONTON- It’s how thousands of Edmontonians ring in the the new year every Dec. 31. But every year, the massive New Year’s Eve fireworks display requires an equally massive effort to go off without a hitch.
“We want to have a full show,” says Geoff Bacchus, the lead fireworks supervisor for the production. “You will not see any gaps in the show.”
According to Bacchus, his team normally designs the show months in advance and it evolves every winter as technology continues to revolutionize how the show is pulled off.
“I’ve been doing this for about 17 years, so it’s changed quite a bit,” he says. “Typically we would hand light some of this stuff, but to get the precise movements of the fireworks nowadays, it’s all done off a computer.”
Bacchus also says pyrotechnics have become much more powerful over the years.
“In the past, you would shoot one firework out of one tube, but the way the industry has progressed, one piece of product can shoot anywhere between 25 and 315 shots all in one queue.”
On Thursday night, the sky over Alberta’s capital will be sparkling as lights burst atop a rooftop display on two levels of the public library across from City Hall. The show, which is expected to last over 10 minutes, will be choreographed to an eclectic selection of music, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Boney M.
“It’s synched on a computer,” says Bacchus. “So when the music plays and the different beats hit, you’ll see those fireworks go off time to that music.”
While for some, the beauty of fireworks is all about the colours or the glitter floating down from the sky, Bacchus says for him the attraction is something altogether different.
“I like loud noises so I like the loud bangs and the salutes at the end,” he says. “I like to feel it in my chest.”
The festivities downtown begin Thursday night at 7 p.m. with live entertainment, hay rides, ice skating and food while the fireworks show gets underway at midnight.
The events at City Hall and Winston Churchill Square will see a number of road closures and parking bans take effect, you can see a full list here. Edmontonians can also get to the downtown with free transit courtesy of the Edmonton Transit Service; free service runs from 6 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. on Friday.
Global News will also be streaming the fireworks from Winston Churchill Square live at globalnews.ca/edmonton
-with files from Shallima Maharaj
© 2015 Shaw Media