News

New Year’s Eve to go without a bang

New Year will not come in with a bang because the only licensed fireworks expert on the island has quit the business.

The news means that the traditional festive firework displays in St George’s and Hamilton will not go ahead.

A spokeswoman for the Corporation of St George’s said: “As a result of the winding up of the local fireworks business, a monopoly, fireworks are unavailable this New Year’s Eve.”

She added: “Plans are progressing to have live entertainment and a grand finale that should also be a crowd pleaser.

“Details will be revealed closer to the date as part of our New Year’s Eve promotions.”

Kenneth Bascome, former Mayor of St George’s, said event organisers would have to come up with something special to replace lighting uo the night sky.

Mr Bascome said: “The bodies that have always had these celebrations need to do something extra special to get the crowds to come out this year and enjoy the festivities, because this is going to be a disappointment for many folks.”

He added: “I’m hopeful that people will find something to capture the attention of the crowds, but it is disappointing.”

Mr Bascome feels the news could be an opportunity for a bright spark to move in and monopolise the fireworks business.

He said: “There is certainly an opportunity out there if someone is able to pick up this particular market.”

Dek Froud operated the only fireworks business in Bermuda, but quit earlier this year.

Mr Froud, 58, did his first fireworks show aged just five with his father, and has been putting on spectacular shows around the island ever since.

His decision to quit was a major factor in the decision by the City of Hamilton to cancel this year’s Christmas Boat Parade in Hamilton Harbour.

A spokesman for City Hall said: “The company who provide the fireworks display for the boat parade and many other local events are no longer offering this service, and we didn’t feel the parade could proceed without the magnificent fireworks finale we have come to enjoy over the years.”

The use of fireworks needs a Bermuda Police Service licence and Mr Froud is understood to have been the only holder on the island.

Ed Benevides, chief operating officer for the City of Hamilton, said: “As far as we are aware there are no others locally, and the requirements involved with any other type of stage pyrotechnics have closed that avenue as well.”

He added that the City was looking at other ways to wow the crowd as part of the New Year celebrations.

Elbow Beach Hotel, which also puts on festive fireworks displays, did not respond to a request for comment.