FESTA DEL REDENTORE 2016

WHAT: FESTA DEL REDENTORE 2016
WHEN: SATURDAY 16TH JULY 2016 – SUNDAY 17TH JULY 2016
WHERE: VENICE, ITALY
WHY: FIESTA FEATURING FIREWORKS

In the mid 16th century, Venice was besieged by yet another outbreak of the plague. The Bubonic Plague or Black Death took the lives of more than 50,000 Venetians between 1575 – 1576, which when you consider that the total population at the time was only 160,000, meant that 1 in 3 died of this dreadful disease which even to this day is classified as a bio-terrorist threat.

In 1576, the most serene Republic of Venice’s Senate agreed to erect a church to Christ as a plea for help. The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer (Il Redentore) was erected.

Festa del Redentore

By July 1577, the area was officially declared plague free and it was decided that in celebration of the deliverance from certain death, each year, there was to be a Fiesta and of course a church service. The Redentore is an authentic, age-old, Venetian event which is very close to the hearts of the people of Venice. On the Saturday, the evening before the service of thanks, at around 7pm, the 333 metre Ponte Votivo is opened up and the people go to the church for the Eucharist at around 7.30 and the blessing of the event and the people.

Festa del Redentore

There are boats and barges packed with people, which moor alongside each other to share the music, fun and laughter with large groups of family and friends. The vessels in the harbour are all richly decorated with pretty garlands, flowers and lights.

The beautiful pyrotechnics begin at around 10.00pm on St Marks Basin under the control of the fantastic Parente Fireworks. The fireworks are set up on 35 floating pontoons over a distance of around 600 metres in an unusual cross shape. The display lasts between 45 minutes – 1 hour as a general rule and afterwards, the younger contingent of the 100,000 people strong crowd of spectators go off to the Venice Lido where they await dawn and the sunrise.

It is another age old tradition, which like a number of other festivals has been around for many hundreds of years and will continue to amaze young and old alike for generations to come.

HONDA CELEBRATION OF LIGHT 2016

WHAT: HONDA CELEBRATION OF LIGHT 2016
WHY: INTERNATIONAL FIREWORK COMPETITION
WHERE: ENGLISH BAY, VANCOUVER, CANADA
WHEN: SATURDAY 23RD JULY, WEDNESDAY 27TH JULY AND SATURDAY 30TH JULY 2016
COST: FREE. VIP SEATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR AN EXTRA FEE

First competed for in 1990, this year marks the 26th running of the event which pits the abilities of three of the top pyrotechnic teams from around the World. The organisers though do try to ensure that each year, at least one of the teams will be not have competed before adding that ‘unknown’ quality to proceedings.

The teams will be creating a 25 minute display, set and synchronised to music and will be judged by industry experts who will be marking against the following criteria:

SHOW SIZE – 10 POINTS
DESIGN AND ARTISTRY – 30 POINTS
SYNCHRONICITY – 20 POINTS
ORIGINALITY – 15 POINTS
QUALITY OF MUSIC SELECTION: 15 POINTS
QUALITY OF PYROTECHNICS – 10 POINTS

Competitors will lose points for flouting safety rules, any activities considered unprofessional and dangerous set up practices. The judges said ‘some teams are extremely flowing and magical whereas others are bombastic which is what makes role even more difficult’.

Saturday 23rd July 2016 – Royal Fireworks – Netherlands

Wednesday 27th July 2016 – Howard & Sons – Australia

Saturday 30th July 2016 – The Walt Disney Company – USA

The competition forms part of ‘Shorefest’ which is Vancouver’s largest community concert series. The event brings a staggering $37 million into the economy in tourism and hospitality alone.

On event days, there will be live music from 2pm daily and food and entertainment available to everyone. You can either watch the fireworks from the beach and surrounding area or one of the specialist areas set up.

The Keg Lounge, is closest to the music stage, a Steak House Bar and Grill which is the most popular area for VIP’s .

Sunset Beach will have fewer people about than the Beach at English Bay and you will be able to see just as well without tripping over people.

The winner of the competition will be announced on 31st July once all three teams have competed.

Social media reporting has of course gone wild since learning that the team from The Walt Disney Company were taking part. Of course, whilst Howard & Sons have previously competed here, the Netherlands and of course the Disney team have not so it should be quite something to behold. Royal Party, representing The Netherlands, were winners of the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition in 2015 so they are all in with a fighting chance.

We will of course bring you the latest news as it happens from the showground and will of course announce the winner at the beginning of August.

Honda Celebration of lights

MALTA MECHANIZED GROUND FIREWORKS FESTIVAL

WHAT: MALTA MECHANIZED GROUND FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
WHEN: SATURDAY 9TH APRIL 2016 (SETUP OF THE DISPLAY ON FRIDAY 8TH APRIL 2016)
WHERE: THE GRANARIES, ST PUBLIUS SQUARE, MALTA
WHY: MECHANICAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
COST: FREE :)

The mechanized ground fireworks festival has been an important part of the Fiesta celebrations to be held in Malta.

The competition between the factories has always been fierce and it is a matter of intense pride to win the award for your own factory resulting in the competitors striving for excellence every time.

Nar ta' l-Art, Floriana.

The setting up of the Fest Ta Nar (fire festival) takes the majority of the day to complete as in addition to the usual set up of the fireworks there is a great deal more intricate and complicated parts to ensure are in working order and are connected to the relevant effect. The maximum dimension of the wheel must be no more than 30 feet across. They are a complex fusion of levels, gears, wheels, chains and links resulting in 3D movement with the ability to open and close, rotate and move forth and back too with added pyrotechnics.

The Firework factories included in this year’s event are as follows:

St Margaret’s Firework Association
15th August Fireworks Association
Our Lady of Nativity Fireworks Association
Fontana Fireworks Association
St Paul’s Fireworks Complex
St Josephs Firework Complex
22 February Fireworks Association
Mount Carmel Factory
St Catherine’s Pyrotechnic Association
St Bartholomew’s Fireworks Association
St Leonard’s Firework Factory
15th August Fireworks Factory

There are 30 firework companies on the Island and pyro remains at the very heart of the people of Malta and have been since the very early part of the 11th century when they were intrinsic to celebrations. For the most part there would have used cannon and musket fire and the sound of the explosion of crackers in quick succession as an expression of joy/celebration and over the years this grew into an event which now include the ‘Malta International Firework Festival‘, a competition which takes place each Saturday including 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th April 2016 in a number of locations across the Island.

Here is a taster of some of last year’s examples of engineering and pyrotechnics coming together to create beautiful effects.

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