New Year’s to feature return of fireworks at Bower Ponds

After an eight-year hiatus, fireworks will return to Bower Ponds for one special New Year’s Eve.

After an eight-year hiatus, fireworks will return to Bower Ponds for one special New Year’s Eve.

The unique fireworks — to be set to music — are part of the Centennial First Night Skating Party to kick off Red Deer’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

The all-ages launch will feature music from the last 10 decades, interactive performers, glow sticks, hot drinks and birthday cake.

Sheila Bannerman, Red Deer Centennial Committee chairperson, said organizers wanted to do something at its launch that excited and inspired residents for the entire year.

“These aren’t just going to be fireworks,” said Bannerman. “The fireworks will be set to music.”

The fireworks to kick off 2004 were cancelled because of a lack of funding, and the popular event has never returned.

Bannerman said the display will be similar to the fireworks show at the Sea Vancouver Festival but on a smaller scale. The music will be recorded and tailored to Red Deer’s birthday. A professional fireworks company was hired and has conducted a site visit.

“It should be really fun,” she said. “It’s an exciting combination of fireworks and music. We’re really excited about that.”

The fun gets underway on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9 p.m.

Another birthday bash out of the five planned by the organizing committee is the Homecoming Festival on June 29 and 30. Bannerman said the weekend events will feature a pancake breakfast, the Centennial Grove Legacy Project dedication, concert, outdoor movie and cultural passport afternoon. Ghost statues will come alive in downtown Red Deer and people will get the opportunity to chat with them.

“We want people to be involved in discovering Red Deer,” said Bannerman. “Just to get really excited about who we are and what we have to offer today and the future.”

The theme of the year is light and residents will see this reflected in the events planned over the next 12 months.

For a detailed list of events, visit www.reddeer2013.ca.

Highlights:

Jan. 3

l Alberta Sports Hall of Fame 2013 exhibit launch

l Centennial Cake Day

Feb. 23

l Cake Boss style competition

March 25

l City incorporation centennial date

April 19 to 21

l Special Olympics

June 29 to 30

l Homecoming Festival

l River of Light

July 16

l Outdoor Barn Dance on Little Gaetz Avenue

Sept. 21

l Old Fashioned Fall Fair

Dec. 12

l Fire and Ice centennial closing ceremony and Lantern Parade

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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