A dimmer New Year’s Eve in Flanders with several cancelled fireworks shows due to wind

As 2024 draws nearer, several cities and municipalities in Flanders have opted to cancel or postpone their annual firework displays due to less than favourable weather. Antwerp will go ahead despite the predicted wind.

With predictions of heavy wind and potential percipitation, the city of Ghent decided on Sunday morning to cancel its year end firework programme. "After consultation with the security services, it has been decided that the end-of-year fireworks at Portus Ganda unfortunately cannot take place tonight," said Ghent Alderman for Events, Bram Van Braeckevelt. Hasselt made the same decision, cancelling their end-of-year fireworks and instead replacing them with a laser and music show.

The city of Lommel has moved their show to 6 of January after the security services, the fire brigade and fireworks professionals met on Sunday to analyse the weather maps, ultimately ruling it too unsafe.

While fireworks are out of the line-up for Ostend, the city by the sea has opted for a light show featuring music by the late Belgian singer Arno. "If we take all factors into account at this time, we unfortunately have to announce the cancellation of the fireworks," said the mayor of Ostend Bart Tommelein (Open VLD).

In Mechelen, revellers will be able to attend the usual dance party with DJs, but won’t get the drone show that the city had originally planned to take place at the Grote Markt. The city council waited until Sunday morning to decide, hoping that the weather forecast would change. “We would have loved to offer the people of Mechelen the drone show, but safety always comes first," said the mayor Bart Somers (Open VLD). "However, postponement is not a cancellation. We will look for a new date.” The chairman of Mechelen Feest, Kristof Calvo is still excited about the city’s plans for entering 2024, saying, "The rainy weather does not have to be a spoilsport. This time, the big dance party will take place under the canopy of the Grote Markt.”

As of now, the city of Antwerp will continue as planned with their large-scale firework event held at the River Scheldt and near the Cockerillkaai and Sint-Michielskaai. The city decided this, "taking into account the latest weather forecasts”.

The Royal Meteorology Institute predicts five to six Beauforts and local wind gusts between 70 and 80 km per hour cannot be ruled out. “Because it is very dangerous to set off fireworks in such weather conditions, the governor of East Flanders also banned the private setting off of fireworks for the entire province on 29 December. This ban applies until Monday, 1 January, 2024.


#FlandersNewsService |Fireworks in Ghent from previous years ©ARTERRA

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