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NYE event to launch City of Culture year

A fireworks display will launch the city's year of culture.

Londonderry will mark the start of its UK City of Culture year with its largest ever fireworks display.

Monday, 31 December 2012
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The fireworks display and pyrotechnic show will take place against the backdrop of St Columb's Park, River Foyle and the Peace Bridge.

The show will include visual electric performance from Lords of Lighting along Queen's Quay, a boat arriving with light and flares with an individual carrying a "Flame of Hope" which subsequently crosses the Peace Bridge from the city to Ebrington.

The large scale fireworks display commences at 8.13pm (20:13).

Derry City Council's Brendan McMenamin, Lead Programmer of the New Year's Eve evening event said: "It's going to be a great occasion. From 6:30pm church bells across the city will ring out calling people to join in the celebrations and from 6.50pm the show will commence.

"It will be accompanied by a musical arrangement that captures the journey of the city towards 2013 including some of the signature moments as part of the bid. There will be reference to the fantastic words from Seamus Heaney that were so central to the bid from the Cure of Troy, that conveys our hope for a great sea-change and the city's belief that a further shore is reachable from here.

"The show will place the Peace Bridge and the River centre stage and conclude with the sounds of the Shirt Factory horns to welcome the New Year and our ambitions for a brighter future for the city."

Members of the public will also be able to get involved by leaving a message for a virtual wall that will be part of the celebrations in 2013.

And after the fireworks and pyrotechnic show, Culture Company's Sound of the City will provide musical entertainment across a number of venues in the city to mark the transition.

It will mark the start of a fantastic year of culture for our city as we tell our new story to the world and prepare to host an exciting range of cultural experiences throughout the year.

Mayor Kevin Campbell

Speaking ahead of the first official event, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "2013 is shaping up to be a massively exciting year for Derry-Londonderry and for the UK as a whole. Their programme of events promises to be hugely entertaining and contains something for everyone.

"It will build on the phenomenal success of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and show once again the depth and range of cultural excellence in this country."

Earlier this year, organisers announced a programme which includes the Turner Prize presented outside England for the first time; a new commission by the London Symphony Orchestra; award-winning choreographer Hofesh Shechter; the return of Field Day; a new play by American playwright Sam Shepard; local Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney; and the first visit to Northern Ireland of the Royal Ballet for over a decade.

The city will also host Fleadh Cheoil na h√Čireann, the world's biggest festival of Irish culture with traditional music, bands and singing set to attract over 300,000 visitors.

Mayor Kevin Campbell commented: "This New Year's Eve promises to be a great opportunity for families to come along to the riverfront and celebrate the start of 2013 and to be part of the huge opportunities that it presents."

SDLP Foyle MLA and mayor during the city's bid to become the first UK City of Culture, Colum Eastwood said 2013 would be "fully and deeply embraced by Derry's people".

"I am confident that a great swell of Derry people will embrace this year and make their own," he said.

"2013 is, in essence, an unprecedented amphitheatre through which Derry can translate to a huge audience its charm and charisma.

"It will be a time when the city can thoughtfully explore its undeniable darkness and energetically exude its undimmed light.

"I am unceasingly optimistic that, by the end of this calendar year, this city can imagine itself anew and that we can enter into the future buoyed by a renewed confidence in ourselves and in our city."