New Year firework organisers think bigger than ever

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 January, 1998, 12:00am


Related topics

Spectators will be treated this year to the biggest firework ever seen in Lunar New Year celebrations.

Organisers of the Thursday night display claim a shell known as the Thousand Blooming Coconut Tree weighs a staggering 31 kilograms and has a 40 centimetre diameter.

It will take 10 seconds for the shell to soar 400 metres skywards before bursting into multi-coloured flares.

The 23-minute fireworks display is costing $6.8 million.

The massive bill is being shared equally between Hongkong Telecom and China Telecom (Hong Kong).

At 8 pm, spectators on both sides of the harbour will be able to see six tonnes of fireworks from China, Japan, Spain, Germany, Italy and the US filling the dark skies.

Organisers have promised new blends of fireworks including spinning 'tigertails'.

'Normally, the tigertails used in fireworks displays only go straight up, but for this year, we have especially designed them so that they can spin once they get up there,' co-producer Francis Wu Kai-tai said.

The availability of 40 cm diameter shells for the display vastly improved its entertainment value, he said.

'We can create lots of special effects and, consequently, you may find the frequency and all the effects from this year's fireworks being better than last year.' Mr Wu's partner, Kevin Kelly, said operators relied on the latest technology to ignite the display.

'We use a radio transmitter to synchronise each barge so that each can fire simultaneously and in synchronisation throughout the display.' However, they conceded, one thing they are going to have no control over will be the weather.