Ring in the new year with fireworks

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Airdrie will be ringing in the New Year with a fireworks show at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park once again, thanks to the efforts of the Airdrie Parade and Fireworks Committee. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

“It will be a 15 minute show of fireworks overtop of East Lake,” said committee chair Lynn Kehoe. “The ice is thick enough this year that they will actually be out on the lake, putting them off.”

The event has been hosted by the committee for the past six years, having moved the show from its original location at Nose Creek Park due to space constraints. According to Kehoe, the display draws an audience from the entire Airdrie region, attracting people from as far as Calgary.

“It was a little too hard to have the fireworks in that area with the crowds that show up – we usually get between four and five thousand people,” she said. “There’s lots of parking at Genesis Place (Recreation Centre), and lots of places for people to go where they can sit and watch.”

With the display beginning early in the evening, Kehoe said families are then free to continue celebrating however they choose – with their family and friends, or with a dinner at some of Airdrie’s great local restaurants.

“I think it’s important for everybody in the city to come together and enjoy things like parades and fireworks,” Kehoe said. “Those are events that bring people in from other communities and showcase Airdrie to the surrounding area.”

This year’s event will feature music, an exciting countdown and free hot drinks from Tim Hortons, who will be serving tea, coffee and hot chocolate. The Airdrie Parade and Fireworks Committee is also responsible for the Santa Claus Parade, the Canada Day Parade and the Canada Day fireworks, thanks to dedicated volunteers and the support of groups like Citizens On Patrol and businesses like Tim Hortons.

With the recent snowfall, Kehoe said the event will be even more exciting and spectacular.

“The snow, if it stays, should look absolutely beautiful,” she said. “It’s just a fun way to ring in the new year with your loved ones, kick off the evening and start the year off right.”

However, she added the weather serves as a reminder this is an outdoor event. Anyone planning to attend should dress for the conditions, Kehoe said, but noted it will take more than this snow for the event to be cancelled.

“We’ve had a few years in the past where there was a lot of snow and we still went ahead – this is nothing compared to what we’ve seen,” she said. “Finger crossed, but it looks like it will be a nice night for some fireworks.”

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