ACT News

Skyfire fireworks draw more than 100,000 to Lake Burley Griffin

The shores of Lake Burley Griffin were a patchwork of picnic rugs as more than 100,000 Canberrans settled in to see the skies sparkle at Skyfire on Saturday night.

David Heffernan stood out from the crowds - surrounded by eight speakers and a sub-woofer he was powering with car batteries. 

"Our family come every year," the 57-year-old sound engineer from Flynn said. "The trick is to come early and stay and party after the fireworks while all the traffic goes." 

Australia's Federation Guard grabbed attention with artillery guns firing from Gallipoli Reach, while two Royal Australian Navy Squirrel Helicopters and a Royal Australian Air Force Hawk 127 took to the sky -  with many peeled themselves off  their picnic rugs to take snaps. 

104.7FM general manager Eoghan O'Byrne said there was every indication they'd record the usual 120,000-130,000 people in attendance. 

Foti Fireworks creative director Fortunato Foti said the 18-minute display he curated included never-seen-before pyrotechnics shooting up from 11 locations around the lake. 

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"I think it's one of the most colourful displays we have done in Canberra," he said. "We had new affects in the show such as the Gold Palms with coloured tips and multicoloured pastel umbrellas which shoot up from the barges." 

ACT Police acting superintendent Jeff Knight said underage drinking was being targeted by the 100 police personnel patrolling the event. 

By 9pm four juveniles had been taken into protective custody for alcohol-related issues.  

"There will be no tolerance," he said. "Any anti-social behaviour we come across we will be taking action." 

Police established roadside breath testing and managed closure of Parkes Way closed between Anzac Parade and Edinburgh Avenue until 9.45pm. 

Acting superintendent Knight said he was pleased to see so many parents pick up an identification wrist bands for their little ones, and while several children were estranged from their families at the event police were able to reunite them quickly. 

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