Brussels residents turn out in full force for traditional fireworks display
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    Brussels residents turn out in full force for traditional fireworks display

    © Belga

    Between 50.000 and 60.000 persons viewed Tuesday night’s fireworks display organised by the City of Brussels at the foot of the Atomium, Mariana Bresciani, spokesperson of the Brussels Major Events non-profit association, said at the end of the event.

    The estimate was given to the organisers by police at the site. The final count will be known on 10 January.

    Close to 57,000 persons had participated in the fireworks last year, and about 40,000 on New Year’s Day 2018, the first one organised at the Atomium. The site, which is divided into four sections for the public, has a total capacity of 70,000 persons.

    The evening began at 9.30 p.m. with DJ Simon mixing golden oldies and last year’s hits. The atmosphere was friendly. Brussels Mayor Philippe Close was on hand to see the stilt-walkers from the “Girafes and Co” and “Cirque Indigo” companies delight the mixed crowd with their acrobatic performances.

    After the midnight countdown, the fireworks display lit up the sky for 18 minutes, to the sound of music.

    Mariana Bresciani explained that the public tender for the display had imposed various ecological criteria, while the service provider was required to use European products and recyclable material.

    So-called silent fireworks that had been tested by the Brussels Region’s Fire and Emergency Medical Assistance Service, SAMU, were not selected since they were non-compliant with various criteria.

    The DJ ended the evening with a round of music until 1 a.m., and no incidents were reported.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times