One of the Bay of Plenty's oldest surviving ammunition technicians will have the chance to set off a series of fireworks in what is pegged to be an extravaganza in Welcome Bay tomorrow.
Tye Parks Fireworks is the event which will see the skies above Welcome Bay explode in a dazzling display of pyrotechnics, marking the finale of a major new community event for Tauranga.
The event was postponed from early November due to bad weather, but now the team say they are geared up and ready to go.
Welcome Bay community centre manager Anna Larsen says around 227 firings are planned.
“Around 20 minutes of fireworks will be let off from a barge in the bay,” says Anna. “There will be lots of pops and lots of bangs.”
She says this year is particularly special as her father, Major Roy Larsen, an ex-army ammunition technician, makes a guest appearance within the pyro technician team, alongside a younger upcoming technician.
“When I was talking to the pyro technician I was telling him how I grew up on rifle ranges and how my father used to be an ammunition disposal technician in the NZ Army Ordnance Corp.
“He said one of his other pyro technicians is also an ammunition disposal technician in the NZ Defence Force and asked if my father would like to set off some of the fireworks alongside him.”
The event, which has been funded by the Tauranga City Council events fund, and co-organised with Welcome Bay Lions Club, will include a fun fair for children, food stalls and entertainment. It starts at 4pm on Saturday evening with fireworks beginning just after dark.
Anna says the event is a first for Welcome Bay and wants to ensure public are aware it is happening.
“The biggest benefit of this event is bringing something spectacular to Welcome Bay,” she says.
“If Welcome Bay residents want to enjoy something like this, generally we have to travel elsewhere so for a change we are hosting it in our own community.
“We are encouraging people to be aware it is happening and to be sensible; we ask pet owners to please leave their animals safely locked up at home.”
The event is alcohol free, pets will be discouraged, and bag checks will be taking place at the gate. Entry is by gold coin.