Unusually for a New Year’s Eve display, Leeds Council’s city centre fireworks display s fired at 5.30pm so that it can be a genuine family event, and children who would be in bed before midnight still get to join in the celebrations and watch the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Yorkshire. For 2008 the display was fired from in front of Quarry House: the perfect firing position for the prime fireworks viewing area along the Headrow and Eastgate in the centre of the city.
Although the firework display was not set to music it still had a theme, and had been designed to depict the passage of the four seasons. Spring consisted of a carpet of green candles with brightly coloured pastel bursts above, summer was based on a palette of hot colours and palm shells. Autumn was a cacophony of crackle candles and shells along with red and orange falling leaves with the winter display culminating in an awesome Christmas scene of red, green silver and gold strobe.
Despite our meticulous planning when it comes to every fireworks display, the weather is one factor over which we have no control, and the Yorkshire elements were not kind to us. The fog had hung around from the moment we arrived on site in the morning and you could clearly see it surrounding the tops of the tallest buildings in the City centre. The show was always intended to be an aerial fireworks display designed to be viewed from across Leeds city centre, and with most of the material reaching heights in excess of 300ft it was disappointing that after so much hard work a lot of the display was lost in the mist. One effect that the mist did actually enhance though was our red and green lightning fireworks. The scattered flashes from these shells illuminated the mist, and in turn the entire Leeds skyline was brought alive.
Ian Cairns from Leeds City Council loves his fireworks just as much as we do. Ian, if you’re reading this, let’s do it again for New Year’s Eve 2009 – but next time we’ll bring the industrial fog-shifting fan with us!