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Tuscani01

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Fireworks back for Canada Day

Fireworks will once again light up City Centre skies as they did here more than 20 years ago.

By: Joe Chin

November 27, 2007 - After a 20-year hiatus, fireworks will once again light up the skies around the city centre on Canada Day.

The initiative to resurrect the popular extravaganza is being spearheaded by Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who’s been known to ignite fireworks of the political variety.

“It will be a spectacular evening, with huge crowds, music, a laser show and a finale featuring 15 to 20 minutes of pyrotechnics of international calibre,†Parrish promises.

“It will be a show second to none in the GTA — and it’s all free.â€

The event is planned for Canada Day 2008, and since the statutory holiday falls on a Tuesday next year, the crowds should be enormous because stores will all be closed, says Parrish.

So many spectators are anticipated, there are plans to provide free bus service and to reroute traffic around City Hall to allow maximum space for spectators. Organizers are even looking into the possibility of closing off Burnhamthorpe Rd. for the first time.

“We don’t want people crossing the road and looking up in the sky to be hit by cars,†says Parrish, who barely recalls the last time fireworks were held in the area.

“I believe the last year was when City Hall was opened (in 1987). Before that, Square One used to run it over the May 24 weekend to raise money for local hospitals.â€

Reportedly, one of the reasons the event was discontinued was because all the once plentiful empty fields in the area, needed to safely stage fireworks, were eaten up by development. But those concerns are a thing of the past, says Parrish.

“The experts have thoroughly scoped it out. We’re going with pyrotechnics instead of fireworks — an electrical process that uses no gunpowder whatsoever. There’s no falling debris, so there’s no chance of an accident.â€

The display will be shot off from five locations on the rooftop of City Hall.

“The company we’re looking at has the only patented process for pyrotechnics. The man who will be designing the show for Mississauga does special effects for George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) in Hollywood. The display will be set to music and will be 15 to 20 minutes minimum.â€


Parrish sprang into action following a complaint by Mayor Hazel McCallion that the turnout at this year’s Canada Day celebrations was down from previous years. What better way to bring people out, Parrish thought, than staging a good, old-fashioned fireworks show as an add-on to the regular activities.

“It’s so traditional and everybody loves it. The mayor was all for it as long as I didn’t ask for any City funds. She didn’t want taxpayer dollars going up in smoke, and I agree with that.â€

Which means Parrish has to raise the $125,000 to $150,000 cost herself. So far, some $60,000 has been committed, with Sithe Global and Bridgestone/Firestone on board as major sponsors.

“Bridgestone’s going to bring those big bouncy castles so kids can burn off energy. They’re also bringing Mario Andretti’s racing car.â€

Square One Shopping Centre is also an enthusiastic partner, offering their acres of parking lots for free parking.

To entice sponsors, Jubilee Garden on the west side of City Hall Square will be transformed into a VIP seating area for donors of $500 or more. Longo’s will be supplying the food.

But it’s not all about kaboom in the sky: there’s a charity component as well.

“All unused funds will be directed to Foodpath. As well, food donations will be collected from the 50,000 or so who will be in attendance, because I’m told the shelves are pretty bare in the summer,†says Parrish. “We’re also crossing our fingers that somehow we’ll be able to finagle a much-needed refrigerated truck for them.â€

Entertainment will be top notch. Already booked is Suzie McNeil, the Mississauga singer who was the last woman standing on the 2005 reality show Rockstar: INXS. Discussions are underway with comic Mike Bullard to emcee the evening. Metalworks Studios have offered a few of their recording stars.
 

Observer Walt

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Well I have certainly been no fan of Carolyn Parrish, but fair is fair, and I say good for her. We haven't had fireworks in Mississauga much recently. I will look forward to seeing this, especially as it sounds like it will be a little different than traditional displays.
 

jeicow

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^ Support the local talent. Plus, he's been hanging out in Port Credit with his motorcycle too much so he could probably use any job he could get at this point- clean up the streets in a way.
 

syn

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It's a step up from those fat to skinny commercials he's been doing.

Actually it isn't. They're no longer on the air. The only reason he was doing them was because he was (relatively) popular at the time.
 

khris

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This is pretty cool. I'll definitely be there to check it out. The entertainment needs to be a little bit better if you ask me though. But definitely a step in the right direction.
 

vistaway

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As much as I vehemently dislike Parrish, this is a good idea. I am sure it will be packed.

All the new city centre condo owners can finally have a good reason to sit out on their balconies, too.

Wow, I remember going to Square One every year for fireworks. I think half the city was there. Those were the days...
 

Urban Shocker

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I like how they're protecting people from the dangers of crossing the road and looking at fireworks at the same time. If they're chewing gum, too, it would almost certainly prove fatal.
 

AndreaPalladio

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Please, BB. They're PYROTECHNICS, not fireworks. No fussy gunpower bursting in air for Hazel. Just nice, clean electricity.
 

junctionist

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Wow. Twenty minutes of non-fireworks and a bouncy castle.

The bouncy castle won't even be there for the enjoyment of the kids, it'll be so that they can so that they "can burn off energy". And wow, someone from the reality show INXS that didn't even win. Truly, top notch. But at least they're trying.
 

Hydrogen

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Not that I'm slagging the topic of this thread, but "Mike Bullard" and "aiming high" can't be mixed together. It's just wrong.
 

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