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Midnight fireworks at Exchange Square

City centre revellers will be heading towards the big wheel this New Year's Eve

Published on December 16th 2009.

Midnight fireworks at Exchange Square

Last year the council belatedly got into the spirit of things on New Year's Eve. Back in 2007, Confidential was bemoaning the lack of any proper civic partying in the city centre – no fireworks, no singing, no nuthin, unless you'd squeezed yourself into a jam-packed club or bar.

For NYE 2008, they livened things up with a celebration at Exchange Square – an event that will be repeated this year with a ten-minute firework display sponsored by World Tourist Attractions who own the big wheel.

Councillor Pat Karney, city centre spokesperson, said: “You don’t need to go to Sydney, New York or even Edinburgh to welcome in the new decade in style – the best party is going to be right here in Manchester.”

Better cancel those plane tickets. We can't wait to see pictures of Exchange Square at midnight broadcast around the world.

But even if Councillor Karney may be getting a bit ahead of himself with his comparisons to New York and Edinburgh, it's good to see Manchester marking the start of 2010 with a bang. After all the fuss the city makes over Christmas, it's only right that we should finish the job with a proper NYE celebration.

So if you're in the city centre and fancy hugging a stranger and going 'ahh' at the sky, head to Exchange Square (not Albert Square, there's nothing 'official' happening there). You'll have to do without a drink for a quarter of an hour – no alcohol will be allowed in the viewing site. And if you want to see the fireworks from a capsule on the big wheel, which will be turning until 2am, you might want to book a ticket in advance at worldtouristattractions

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16 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Peter SansomDecember 16th 2009.

Councillor Amesbury please don't give up commenting. Nor you Councillor Shannon. I like to see politicians so engaged that they bother to speak to the public with their views even if this time it was a bit party politics. Keep it up I say. To Johnthebrief politics is about the way we live it's not all just gossip and food and DIY programmes. We need to see our politicians working.

Cllr Paul ShannonDecember 16th 2009.

Bit surprised to see Pat Karney praising Manchester's upcoming New Year's Eve celebrations. Surprised, because when Manchester's Liberal Democrats first proposed these festivities, we met strong opposition from....Cllr Pat Karney. I welcome his recent change of heart ( better late than never !) but it's a bit rich and hypocritical of him to pretend it was his idea all along.In January 2008 I moved a Council motion urging them to organise New Year's Eve celebrations in our great City. Cllr Karney spoke against my suggestion. He wrote letters to City Centre residents opposing my "loony fireworks plan", whilst Labour's Deputy Council leader wrote to Postbag saying my proposals were "unaffordable". I suggested sponsorship would cover the cost, and indeed the company behind the Big Wheel were happy to back New Year's Eve fireworks. In the end, thousands of Manchester's people enjoyed last year's first official New Year's Eve celebrations since the Millennium, despite Labour's opposition. Liberal Democrats welcome the City's official New Year's Eve celebrations. Here's hoping this year's fireworks are even better than last time! Councillor Paul ShannonManchester Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader

PJDecember 16th 2009.

Sorry, that was discrimination against hedgehogs. Lovely creatures they are :-)

smittyDecember 16th 2009.

Private&confidential - the wheel looks great, imho and brightens up Exchange Sq which, last time I checked, could still be used by a lot of people. How can you possibly describe a ferris wheel as "ludicrous"? But if it's moving on anyway, perhaps you should lighten up a bit! Have a mince pie! More importantly, if it does move to Picc Gardens, it's a welcome boost for that part of town.

PjDecember 16th 2009.

As people keep arguing, I felt like writing something different on here:Never trust a hedgehog

Private&ConfidentialDecember 16th 2009.

Anonymous - Exchange Square is used by many times more people than use the ludicrous wheel. Unfortunately this private enterprise utterly dominates this important public space and makes the experience of lingering or moving through the square unpleasant and inconvenient. On top of this, every tin-pot town has or will shortly have a similar contraption rendering it neither novel, attractive or particularly beneficial to Manchester. A few fireworks on one night of the year is extremely poor recompense for the blight this thing wreaks upon the area all 365 days.

Cllr Paul ShannonDecember 16th 2009.

Kev, are you by any chance related to the "Kevin" who in January 2008 posted the following on Confidential when I first proposed New Year's Eve fireworks:"Honestly Councillor this is shamefull politicking. You want the people to rise up and vite [sic] for the small-minded liberals. We don't need a New Years Eve party let's do the other ones better". That was the Labour line then - rubbish New Year's Eve celebrations because it's a Lib Dem idea. Thankfully, Labour came round to our proposals in the end. Now you're spouting the current Labour line, which is to pretend Labour thought of it all along! You're obviously from the Pat Karney school of "just brazen it out and no-one will notice." You are a Labour activist after all, aren't you?! Councillor Paul Shannon

stretfordpotterDecember 16th 2009.

And you wonder why most people switch off when politicians start!

Cas, stranded in snowy NYCDecember 16th 2009.

John, Mike Amesbury will do anything for a bit of point scoring. Search his name on this website for a start and then put this in your address bar www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/i_salute.html…

Names have been changed to protect the innocentDecember 16th 2009.

It'll be gone sooner or later. If nothing else it's sponsored by the M.E.N. How much longer do you think they'll have the spare money to spend on it?

Kev PDecember 16th 2009.

Once again the Lib Dems try to claim credit for something Labour is doing! Stop moaning and celebrate Paul - it's Christmas!

Private&ConfidentialDecember 16th 2009.

Personally I would happily sacrifice a few fireworks on NYE if it meant we were finally rid of that ludicrous wheel in Exchange Square. Give the square back to the public!

Casper the drinkerDecember 16th 2009.

Bring on the fireworks. Yippee. But what's with the drinks ban.

gingerbreadDecember 16th 2009.

Haha, Kev will probably deny it, but looks like Paul's got the sum of him.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2009.

Private&confidential, the wheel is used by a heck of a lot of people, which sort of suggests it is more popular than ludicrous. Also, lots of people (myself included) think it looks great! Anyway, it's going to be replaced by a much bigger one at Piccadilly.

Cllr Mike AmesburyDecember 16th 2009.

I think Cllr Shannon needs to chill out a little bit ( easy give this cold spell! ) and enjoy himself with the rest of the folk that are enjoying Manchester’s great Christmas and New year’s celebrations. To put the record straight Cllr Pat Karney did approach me as the Executive Member for Culture and Leisure with the sponsored NYE proposal and we have made it happen. Pleased that opposition party's wish to support this, but even more pleased that people will have a fun time.Executive Member for Culture and LeisureManchester City Council

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