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What a cracker

Tuesday, 2nd January, 2018

Fireworks team: Joel Liston, Jarod Lee, Angus Torrance and Ashleigh Keers. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Fireworks team: Joel Liston, Jarod Lee, Angus Torrance and Ashleigh Keers. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

New Year’s Eve in the town square was an outstanding success, with a receptive crowd enjoying a quality event for the whole family.

A crowd of about 400 people settled in about 6.30pm on Sunday evening, enjoying snags, popcorn, big bash cricket on the big screen, and some quality entertainment from Bowden McAllister, who is establishing himself as one of the city’s quality musicians.

The number of revellers in the town square almost tripled by 9.15 as spectacular fireworks erupted from the Line of Lode - a show that included a touch of drama that had everyone guessing.

A massive fireball appeared to explode near the cafe, prompting firefighters and police to rush up the skimp dump to find out what happened.

They received a few calls from concerned residents, including one that claimed the cafe was on fire.

They had a good look around the site, but did not find any damage or danger.

The rush of fire was all part of the show, according to the pyrotechnicians.

“The fireball firework that we used, and the effect of them, always shocks people because they are so massive, and no-one is ready for it,” said Inland Fireworks’ Jarod Lee, who was in charge of the display.

The unexpected visit from emergency services impacted on the team’s preparation for the next fireworks display at midnight, and they scrambled to hit deadline.

The early show had three launch-pads at the base of the skimp dump, and one at the top, while the midnight show had three at the top, in the space between the cafe and the Miner’s Memorial.

“I had to just grab all my gear from down there and rip it back up here, and reload it all,” Jarod said after the midnight showing. 

His crew reloaded within minutes to midnight.

The crowd in the CBD counting down the New Year could be heard from atop of the Line of Lode, and Jarod pulled the trigger on cue.

Jarod runs the business with his father Steve Lee, former Broken Hill locals now based in Parkes.

Steve is well known for his hunting tours, and producing a song ‘I Like Guns’ which has received more than five million views on YouTube.

The Broken Hill event was one of three for Inland Fireworks on New Year’s. Steve managed a show in Dubbo, while Jarod’s wife oversaw one in Parkes.

Jarod was in the city earlier this year putting on a display for the Broken Heel Festival.

He praised City Council for hosting the NYE event.

“Having two displays, and having it up on the Line of Lode was just fantastic,” he said.

Jarod said it took a week of preparation, and then an all-day set-up on Sunday.

He hoped to come back to his former home town next New Year’s Eve.

“I think it would be great,” he said.

“If council chucks some more money into it, it would be fantastic.

“It would be even bigger ... more fireballs.”

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