Skyfire wins battle with elements
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Skyfire wins battle with elements

DRENCHING rain and freezing winds didn't stop a huge crowd lining the shores of Lake Burley Griffin last night, as they watched Skyfire set the sky ablaze from beneath umbrellas and raincoats.

The choreographed firework display saw a steady stream of pyrotechnics dancing above the lake's waters.

Scott Meyerink and Diane Purcell make the most of St Patrick's Day at Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.

Scott Meyerink and Diane Purcell make the most of St Patrick's Day at Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

Over 100,000 Canberrans were sprawled across the lake's vantage points, huddling under blankets, raincoats or anything that would keep the rain off their heads during the 18-minute display.

Crowd behaviour had been good up to 9pm, but police said they had picked up a number of teenagers for underage drinking.

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Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.

Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

Despite the underage drinkers, police had been extremely pleased with the behaviour of Skyfire patrons, according to a spokeswoman.

The rain had threatened from late in the afternoon, and finally began to fall about 8pm, just half an hour before the fireworks started.

But for many, the rain didn't take away from the sight of fiery colours leaping in time with the radio soundtrack.

For Dianne Purcell the combination of St Patrick's Day and Skyfire made for a night to remember.

The Roulettes take to the sky above Canberra for Skyfire 2012

The Roulettes take to the sky above Canberra for Skyfire 2012Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

She recently moved to Australia from Britain, and was born in Ireland.

She said the fireworks made for a far more special St Patrick's Day than she would have had in her homeland.

16 March 2012, news, story by Christopher Knaus, photo by STUART WALMSLEY. Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.

16 March 2012, news, story by Christopher Knaus, photo by STUART WALMSLEY. Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

''It was excellent for me,'' Ms Purcell said.

''At home, we might see fireworks, but not if you're from the country where I'm from,'' she said.

Emma van Heuzen (13) of Ngunnawal enjoys Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.

Emma van Heuzen (13) of Ngunnawal enjoys Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

The show featured more than 2500 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets, and roughly 40,000 pyrotechnic effects.

A spectacular air show added to the celebration as did performances by dance act the Justice Crew, and the Australian Federal Guard.

Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.

Skyfire 2012 on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.Credit:STUART WALMSLEY

Traffic was slow moving out of Skyfire, as Canberrans rushed to get out of the rain all at once.

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