Get out the long johns and warm, woolly socks because tomorrow night promises a few sparks of brilliance to blast out the old year and herald in the new.
For the sixth year, the Victory Life Church is the major sponsor of St. Albert’s annual fireworks show, a heavily attended event that not even the city’s community recreation co-ordinator can put a figure to.
“The event is hard to monitor the numbers,” Roy Bedford said. “We do know that people stop and watch wherever they are in the city. They’re not even necessarily on the hill. We’ve seen vehicles stop on roadways, even coming down [St. Albert Trail] on the south hill to watch things. We don’t recommend that because it’s not a safe thing.”
Bedford added there is a lot of room downtown to catch the action, even on the upper tiers of St. Albert Place. That offers a clear view of the first few hundred feet of sky right above Mission. There will be music timing out the explosive bangs and crashes just like the Canada Day show, but revelers will have to be close enough to hear it.
As for the main attraction, it is once again orchestrated by Rob Kowalyshyn and his crew at Thunder F/X. Bedford emphasized how safe the spectacle will be.
“They’re absolutely professional. They know what they’re doing. They’re very careful in the aiming of where the fireworks go, and right up to the last minute, they ascertain wind direction and try and do what they can to make sure that any falling pieces land in unpopulated areas. ” A team from the fire department will be on hand just in case, he added.
Peter Jackson, chair of the church’s fireworks committee, praised the efforts of Thunder F/X. He estimated the team contributes thousands of dollars worth of volunteer time to choreograph the $15,000 show.
Giving back to the community is the reason the church sponsors the event in the first place. He said it stems from a scripture that teaches openness.
“It says that if we open ourselves up to others, they will open themselves up to God. We want to be a church that gives in to the community, to the families of St. Albert.”
The free show starts at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 on Seven Hills behind Ă©cole Father Jan, weather permitting. No vendors will be on site but Second Cup Inglewood will be handing out 1,000 free packets of hot chocolate.
There will be no public access to the hill after 1:30 p.m. Mission Avenue will also be closed between Perron Street and Mount Royal Drive from 7 to 9 p.m., however, residents and visitors of Chateau Mission Court will still be allowed through.