Macau International Fireworks Display Contest returns to light up the city throughout September
The 27th edition of the competition will feature five nights of dazzling displays from 10 teams of pyrotechnic artists
One of the world’s most well-known fireworks festivals will mark another year in Macau in September. The 27th Macau International Fireworks Display Contest will illuminate the waterfront next to the Macau Tower on September 5, 12, 19, 27 and October 1. The event will feature 10 international teams demonstrating their pyrotechnic prowess and lighting up the skies over the city with spectacular fireworks demonstrations.
This competition among the world’s best fireworks professionals makes for an exciting month that will dazzle locals and visitors alike. The level of expertise is enhanced by the event’s 26-year heritage. It’s a combination that draws fireworks devotees and wins new converts.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), says the competition highlights the city’s growing global profile by demonstrating its ability “to attract visitors from around the world to experience Macau’s charm as a city of events”.
The competition’s calendar is action-packed, with several of the fireworks displays taking place on public holidays. Teams from France and Austria will mark the Mid-Autumn Festival with programmes on September 27, while teams from Australia and the mainland will show off their abilities during a National Day performance on October 1. Other countries represented at this year’s event are Finland, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Portugal and Taiwan.
The event offers a chance to witness the expertise and artistry of the world’s leading fireworks teams. These include Red Flame Special Effects from Malaysia, with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, and Suomen Ilotulitus, a Finnish company that has over 60 years of experience and organises more than 200 shows per year.
This year’s competition will also see new entries from fireworks companies famed for their innovations. Parente Fireworks from Italy will debut as a contender, with over 100 years of history and a Guinness World Record for a mega-fireworks show in Kuwait in 2012. And artEventia from France will bring its distinctive integration of projected images, lights, water jets and coloured lasers.
Not to be outdone are several other companies that have already impressed audiences in the region. Dancing Fireworks from the mainland created the displays for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Luso Pirotecnia Group from Portugal put together displays for the anniversary of the establishment of the Macau handover in 2008 and Lunar New Year in 2009, and is an experienced competitor in Macau. Also returning to Macau are Yung-feng Firecrackers and Fireworks from Taiwan, Daehan Fireworks from Korea, FIREevent from Austria and Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics from Australia.
Spectators can take in the fireworks shows for free, either from numerous vantage points around the city or by watching a live broadcast of the action with background music on Macau TV Channel and Radio Macau's Chinese Channel (FM 100.7).
The MGTO plans to enhance the fireworks displays with choreographed music and laser light projections, and is also offering a SMS game to accompany the contest, in which residents answer questions via text message. More than 1,700 messages were received during last year’s challenge. The city will also host a Fireworks Carnival, which last year drew 74,000 visitors, as well as a Trophy Design Contest, Photo Contest and Student Drawing Contest in conjunction with the competition.
Get a front-row seat
If you are looking for a prime view of the fireworks, some of Macau’s premier hotels are offering just the ticket. The Mandarin Oriental Macau is putting on a fireworks package starting at 3,888 patacas per night, including accommodation. Guests can enjoy the fireworks through floor-to-ceiling windows during a four-course fireworks degustation dinner for two at Vida Rica Restaurant which features chef Dominique Bugnand’s contemporary approach to classic French cuisine. Dishes include avocado cannelloni with seasonal vegetables and sturia caviar, Boston lobster and girolle mushrooms, and peach and lemon thyme with explosive sugar candy. Vida Rica Bar is offering a Fireworks Celebration Buffet between 7:30pm and 10pm at 488 patacas per person which includes an oyster and seafood bar, and is known for its Portuguese cold cuts, live carving station, roasted lamb leg, wagyu beef and a wide selection of desserts. For hotel reservations email [email protected], or call Vida Rica Restaurant on +853 8805 8918 and Vida Rica Bar at +853 8805 8928.
For those inclined to stay in Taipa, Altira Macau is hosting a fireworks packages for 2,398 patacas to 3,398 patacas, with a water-view room, in-room breakfast, and 1,000-pataca credit at the hotel’s signature restaurants. These include Italian restaurant Aurora, Chinese delicacies at Ying, and Japanese selections at Kira and Tenmasa. For enquiries or reservations, please call +853 2886 8866.