2021 to go out with a bang: New Year's Eve fireworks are back in Whitehorse

·3 min read
After last year's hiatus, the New Year's Eve fireworks display in Whitehorse is back. The 10-to-15-minute show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday. (Hendra Xu/Shutterstock - image credit)
After last year's hiatus, the New Year's Eve fireworks display in Whitehorse is back. The 10-to-15-minute show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday. (Hendra Xu/Shutterstock - image credit)

Designing and planning a fireworks show takes months of preparation — just ask Warren Zakus and Kiara Adams of Midnight Sun Fireworks.

"It is fun, but it's an awful lot of work, too" Zakus said on CBC Yukon's noon radio show, Midday Cafe.

The pair said they usually start choosing songs for the New Year's Eve fireworks show in early January. Then, after a month of back and forth communication, they decide on a final soundtrack.

From there, they design the visuals using a computer software and finally, they order the products from a Winnipeg company called Archangel Fireworks.

Midnight Sun Fireworks is a volunteer-based group of Yukon pyrotechnicians. For years, they've been leading the New Year's Eve display in Whitehorse, except for last year, when it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

After last year's hiatus, the city is bringing back the show to "say goodbye to 2021 with a bang!"

But this year, Midnight Sun Fireworks won't be the light show's designers and producers.

On Monday the group announced on Facebook that some of the members will take a break from the show and Archangel Fireworks, their long-time suppliers, will provide Yukoners a quality fireworks display instead.

The 10 to 15-minute show will begin at 8 p.m. tonight.

The city's website warns all vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be stopped from 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. near the fireworks site on Wickstrom Road.

Where to watch

As the temperatures keep dropping in Whitehorse, the best way to enjoy the fireworks is from the comfort of a vehicle.

The City recommends people park at Rotary Park, Takhini Arena or Shipyards Park for optimal viewing. Facilities at Shipyards will not be open.

Keri Rutherford, the city's program supervisor, says there are other spots to watch the show "if you're a little more adventurous."

"[Go to] some of the trails or up on the clay cliffs — the Airport Trail, the Downtown Escarpment Trail, or the Riverfront Trail."

It is discouraged to park on Black Street or Front Street by Fire Hall Number 1, as emergency vehicles need enough space to safely drive to and from the station.

by City of Whitehorse
by City of Whitehorse

Safety protocols

Last year, the New Year's Eve fireworks show was cancelled as a result of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"It wasn't an easy decision for us," said Rutherford.

"Last year we were in a different place with COVID.... The one thing with fireworks is that it does bring people together. And at that point, when we didn't have a vaccine, they were really encouraging people to not gather."

Rutherford said she expects people to still adhere to public health guidelines and watch the show safely with family members or people from their bubble while staying physically distance from others.

Tips

Pets can be startled by fireworks, so take extra precautions and leave your pets at home on New Year's Eve.

Leave fireworks to the professionals. The use of fireworks is strictly prohibited within City limits at any time of year, pursuant to the Firearms By-Law.

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