While Murray Bridge councillors have voted this week to cancel the upcoming 2024 New Years Eve fireworks display, there are several light shows planned on the upcoming social calendar.
“Murray Bridge Glows” next winter is expected to feature a “captivating lighting display alongside fireworks, attracting over ten thousand attendees,” according to the Rural City of Murray Bridge (RCMB), following a successful inaugural event this year.
The Council-supported free Christmas events will also feature fireworks including the Kookaburra Homes Murray Bridge Riverfront Christmas Festival on 18 November and, the Murray Bridge Christmas Carols on 10 December.
At a special Council meeting on Monday, 23 October, the Council discussed its Event Program budget ($100k) for the remaining part of 2023/24. One of the major items on the agenda was the consideration of hosting a New Year’s Eve event, complete with fireworks, with an estimated cost of up to $70k.
After extensive debate, the Council decided against funding a New Year’s Eve Program for 2023. Instead, they opted to invest in Murray River Glows (including fireworks at Sturt Reserve), the activation of the Rural City for the Tour Down Under, the 2024 Fringe Street Party, and a forth outer township event, yet to be determined.
Heather Barclay, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural City of Murray Bridge, recognised the decision not to proceed with the New Year’s Eve fireworks might disappoint the community but said there was good reason to can it in favor of other events.
“A summer fireworks display is highly weather-dependent and carries a high risk of last-minute cancellations or postponements. In contrast, the inaugural Murray River Glows festival’s success in 2023 has given us the confidence to repeat this event in 2024. Since this event is held during the winter, the risks are significantly reduced,” Heather Barclay said.
Following the cancellation of the New Year’s Eve fireworks in 2022 due to flooding in the area, the Rural City of Murray Bridge introduced the alternative event “Murray Bridge Glows”, which Council said turned out to be highly successful. This event featured a lighting display alongside fireworks and attracted over ten thousand attendees.