Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There is a new addition to 2011 ball drop and fireworks display planned at the Iskalo Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo -- a live concert.

The local band "More Than Me," which opened for Paul McCartney this summer in London, will headline the stage fireworks performances scheduled for the 23rd annual event.

"This is a truly exciting event for Buffalo, which continues to attract thousands of people into the heart of downtown to welcome in the New Year," Mayor Byron W. Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

"Now in its 23rd year, the Ball Drop celebration this year will be filled with great entertainment and fun events, culminating in the countdown to the New Year and topped off with a spectacular fireworks show," Brown added.

"With the addition of thousands of visitors from around the country and world coming to Buffalo for the World Junior Hockey Tournament, we expect this to be a very memorable and fun-filled celebration," he added.

The family-friendly event also will feature Dennis George, known as "The Quizmaster," who is scheduled to take the stage at 10:30 p.m. in Roosevelt Plaza outside the Electric Tower.

There are several sponsors of the event, helping to ensure that the annual tradition was not broken this year. They include the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Iskalo Development -- owners of the former Niagara Mohawk Building-- and WKBW Channel 7.

This year's event will coincide with the World Junior Hockey Tournament, scheduled for Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, opening the downtown tradition to hundreds more participants from outside the region.

The "Countdown to 2011" special will air on WKBW-TV, Channel 7, beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, which also showcases the annual ball drop celebration in Times Square in New York City, along with Buffalo's ball drop and fireworks display.

Independent Health, which sponsors the annual First Night celebration, has been an anchor sponsor for many of the ball drop events over the years.

The First Night celebration, held in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, is considered the second largest event of its kind in the nation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The highly anticipated annual Taipei 101 New Year's eve pyrotechnics display is ready to blow spectators away this year with a record-breaking number of fireworks transforming the world's second-tallest skyscraper into a silver waterfall, a glowing pagoda and a ferocious dragon.

This year's show, which will last for 288 seconds and will use more than 30,000 fireworks costing over NT$60 million (US$2.01 million) is being touted as the "longest, biggest and most expensive" of the last six years, said Michael Liu, the building's spokesman.

As the nation celebrates its 100th founding anniversary next year, the show will focus on that theme. Exactly 100 extra seconds will be added to the duration of the show, compared with the standard 188 seconds in previous shows, Liu said.

This is also the first time the organizers have collaborated with international groups such as Grucci, a New York-based pyrotechnic company with over 150 years of experience in firework shows and the pyrotechnician Tsai Kuo-chiang, who is the main creative force behind the show.

"We are confident that spectators are in for a great show. By using high-quality fireworks, we have reduced the likelihood of smoke clouds to the minimum, " Liu said, adding that the show will take place as scheduled unless there is torrential rain.

Six other New Year's Eve fireworks displays will take place around the country.

Besides the one at Taipei 101, the capital will also have two other shows to ring in the new year, including one sponsored by the Council of Cultural Affairs to be held at Dajia Riverside Park and another one at the Miramar shopping center in the Neihu District.

In central Taiwan, in addition to a show at the Taichung Stadium, Janfusun Fancy World amusement park in Yunlin County will also light up the sky with 15,000 fireworks in 11 minutes and will turn its Ferris wheel into the world's biggest "smiley face."

In southern Taiwan, the newest entertainment landmark -- E-da World in Kaohsiung County -- is preparing to wow spectators with 50,000 fireworks, while Dream Mall in Kaohsiung City will also hold its annual display after a massive New Year's Eve count-down party.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mammoth is excited for the return of the Night of Lights at Canyon Lodge on Saturday, December 18, 2010.

This event that began almost two decades ago celebrates the magic of the holiday season with a winter lights show against the majestic backdrop of Mammoth's ski slopes. Guests of all ages are invited to ride the complimentary Village Gondola to Canyon Lodge where they can enjoy a fun-filled night complete with a firework show, torchlight parade, live music by Donavon Frankenreiter, an appearance by the Red Bull Air Force and more.

If you haven't checked out this event, do it this year. Frankenreiter puts on a great live show and the Red Bull Air Force's skydiving team through the night sky is a sight to behold. The fireworks over an alpine backdrop is amazing as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fireworks are a class of high explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places. Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with colored flames and sparks including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.

Fireworks were invented in ancient China in the 12th century to scare away evil spirits, as a natural extension of the Four Great Inventions of ancient China of gunpowder. Such important events and festivities as Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival were and still are times when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of  fireworks in the world.

Fireworks are generally classified as to where they perform, either as a ground or aerial firework. In the latter case they may provide their own propulsion (skyrocket) or be shot into the air by a mortar (aerial shell).

The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube or casing filled with the combustible material, often pyrotechnic stars. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of sparkling shapes, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework although the first skyrockets were used in war. The aerial shell, however, is the backbone of today's commercial aerial display, and a smaller version for consumer use is known as the festival ball in the United States. Such rocket technology has also been used for the delivery of mail by rocket and is used as propulsion for most model rockets.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Save Our Fireworks
Imagine a Fourth of July on the San Diego waterfront with no fireworks at all — or the much-anticipated annual holiday boat parade on San Diego Bay without a single starburst in the sky above. You can stop imagining: It just might happen next year.

Because of aggressive legal maneuvers by the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board has announced it will enact strict environmental regulations for future on-the-water fireworks displays, requiring fireworks show organizers to obtain permits and pay for extensive water testing — estimated to cost more than $25,000 — after each fireworks show.

Never mind that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that fireworks cause any negative environmental effects in local waters. SeaWorld has been performing its own water tests for years, and its studies show no appreciable residue from more than 150 over-water displays.
Most of the local shows operate on a shoestring budget. They are community shows, not commercial operations; and some raise funds for local charities. Imposing high permit fees and expensive water testing requirements could effectively kill these waterfront fireworks shows.

The Water Quality Control Board had originally planned to adopt the new fireworks regulations effective Nov. 10 and begin enforcing those requirements beginning Feb. 18, 2011. Fortunately, because of appeals from the organizers of several fireworks shows for more time to review and comment on the order, the board has delayed implementation of the new fireworks regulations.

Since a new implementation date is expected to be announced sometime soon, now is the time for boaters to make our voices heard. If you want waterfront fireworks to continue, as they have for decades, contact the board — and your elected city and state representatives.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Winter approaches, and that means the excitement is mounting in Hong Kong. WinterFest, the Chinese New Year Celebrations and the Hong Kong Arts Festival are on their way! From 29 November until 2 January, Hong Kong will be celebrating Christmas and welcoming 2011 with its highly-anticipated Hong Kong WinterFest fireworks event.

During this time, the region is magically transformed with fireworks and decorations. The skyscrapers are illuminated; the malls, shops and hotels are decked out in their Christmas finery and the gorgeous Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree – bearing over twenty million Swarovski crystals – soars in dazzling splendour over Statue Square in Central, Hong Kong’s heart. Carol singers will raise their voices at tourist spots around the city, sharing their message of love and peace. Hong Kong’s stores will be offering shoppers superb winter sales, restaurants and hotels will maintain Hong Kong’s reputation as the Culinary Capital of Asia by serving delicious winter delicacies.

In addition to these fireworks celebrations, Hong Kong’s outstanding attractions will be staging their own Christmas festivities. Disneyland will become a fairytale land with decorations and an all-new Gingerbread Village. Ngong Ping 360 will feature a snowfall, themed food and a Christmas craft workshop. Santa’s ‘Little Helpers’ will be busy at Madame Tussauds, dinosaurs will be featured in their own spectacular event, horses will be competing in the famous Hong Kong International Races while The Nutcracker will charm ballet lovers of all ages. The Christmas season is a wonderful time to visit Hong Kong.

The excitement does not end when 2011 arrives, for just a few short weeks later the Chinese New Year celebrations begin. On 3 February the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade starts the festivities with spectacular floats, fireworks performers and musicians, all of whom wind their way through the city in front of excited crowds. The following evening a spectacular fireworks display will light up Hong Kong’s incomparable skyline, while the ensuing days will see horse races, the Hong Kong Marathon, the Lunar New Year Cup soccer tournament and the charming Lantern Festival.

Mid February also sees the commencement of the highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural life. It’s the Hong Kong Arts Festival, celebrating its 39th season in 2011 with over 200 performances and events in 35 venues over 39 days. Those days are from 17 February through to 27 March, days full of riches as 54 performing groups from overseas and Hong Kong gather to entertain their audiences.

Dance lovers will be enchanted by a variety of highly-regarded companies: the New York City Ballet, the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the Beijing Dance Theater, the Asia Pacific Dance Platform and the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Their performances will include Serende, West Side Story Suite, Waves, The Golden Lotus, Hobson’s Choice and the Tanztheatre Wuppertal’s beautiful Carnations, which is performed on a stage fireworks covered with thousands of pink flowers.

In addition, the Festival will present a variety of PLUS events, inviting audiences to meet artists and to participate in backstage tours and a variety workshops. Youth are also catered to via the Festival’s Young Friends Scheme that offers half-price student tickets. For 39 wonderful days and nights Hong Kong will be the place to be for lovers of the arts and their families.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

There are some special local festivals in Shenyang

Shenyang International Ice Snow Festival

Every December through February, a grand International Ice Snow Festival is held in Qipanshan Scenic Area. You cannot only enjoy beautiful and amazing ice and snow sculptures, but you are also provided with a chance to join some ice and snow entertainment, and so on. In addition there will be an ice lantern festival and garden party in Beiling Park, Nanhu Park and Wulihe Park.

Shenyang International Qing Dynasty Culture Festival
As the birthplace of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1919), Shenyang is blessed with rich cultural and historical resources. The Shenyang International Qing Dynasty Cultural Festival is held during every September since 1998. Main activities include parade to show royal etiquettes, traditional dances of the Manchu, temple fair,firewokr display and so on.

Shenyang West Lake Lotus Festival
Shenyang West Lake is located in Xinmin City, about 48 kilometers (about 29.8 miles) away from Shenyang City. From every 25th, July to 10th, August, a splendid lotus festival is held. Thousands of tourists will come to Shenyang West Lake to enjoy the fantastic beauty.

Strange Slope Pagoda Tree Flower Festival
There are about 25 acres of pagoda trees around Shenyang Strange Slope Scenic Area. In every late May flowers will be blooming in a spirit of competition. It is really a good time and place for you to relax.

Temple Fair
Generally speaking, Shenyang Temple Fair is held in every February and gold weeks holidays (Labor Day and National Day holidays). During the temple fair, you can watch folk dances, enjoy folk craftwork and taste delicious local snacks.

Shenyang International Dragon Boat Race
International Dragon Boat Race had been held in 2003 and 2004. From 3rd, June to 2nd, July, 2006, the Third International Dragon Boat Race will be held in Wulihe Park, Shenyang. Aside from the wonderful races, there is also a Beer Festival, Food Festival, Dragon Boat Craftwork Exhibition, Photography Competition, and so on.

Shenyang International Tourism Festival
It is not only a good chance for you to have an enjoyment of mixed beauty of both traditional essence and modern creation, but also a nice moment for you to witness a charming, glistening and fashionable Shenyang. The Floats Parading Fireworks Performance is the most attractive part.

Shenyang International Music Fireworks Festival
Generally speaking, Shenyang International Music Fireworks Festival is held every August. You can enjoy beautiful music and splendid fireworks as well. It is not exaggerating to say that this festival is a feast for both your eyes and ears.