ACT News

Easter church Fireworks shake Kingston

Loud fireworks celebrating the Greek Orthodox Easter shook Kingston on Saturday night, with residents complaining the pyrotechnic blasts sounded like a war zone.

Work Safe ACT says it had not received an application or granted a permit for fireworks, which could be heard as far afield as Gungahlin and Woden.

St. Nicholas church in Kingston.
St. Nicholas church in Kingston. Photo: Kate Leith

Father Petros Kipouros said young people had let off fireworks and fire crackers as part of Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas celebrations, the most important event on the church calendar. "It's not organised, it's from the young people especially. Some young teenagers have this custom," he said. "It's because we celebrate Easter and at 12 o'clock, we say Christ has risen and we have a custom to make some noise." He said 2000 to 3000 people took part in Easter celebrations at St Nicholas' on Saturday night. "Here in Canberra, it is the number one festival for the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Community," he said.

Father Kipouros said relevant authorities, including police, were notified and letters were sent to neighbours. "It's only once a year but the police spokeswoman said there were no complaints," he said.

Residents heard the fireworks around Telopea Park and said the noise lasted about 40 minutes. '' But these were more like bomb blasts, it honestly sounded like Canberra was under attack and in a war zone,'' a witness said. ''The fireworks went off at irregular intervals and were so loud they set off car alarms. It was right across from my unit, they shook the place.''