The City of Greater Geelong and the
Royal Geelong Yacht Club will provide a free fireworks celebration over Corio
Bay to mark the start of the Festival of Sails regatta.
The fireworks will be held at 9:30pm on Saturday 22 January
to celebrate the start of the five-day regatta, which runs until Wednesday 26
Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan
said the Council is funding the free fireworks as it ramps up its support for
major events across the Greater Geelong region.
“We hope families come to the
waterfront because it’s going to be a cracker night,” Cr Sullivan said.
“The festival will be a little
different this year because of COVID-19 restrictions but we’re hoping people
make the most of the sailing, spectacular fireworks and free live music on
offer in venues across Central Geelong.”
The Royal Geelong Yacht Club
normally holds a free firework display on Australia Day, but the display
has been brought forward this year, with the support of the City, to boost the
appeal of the historic sailing event and to help families enjoy free
entertainment on a Saturday night.
“The regatta has a proud
tradition dating back to 1844 and it really puts the spotlight on Geelong and
our beautiful waterfront,” Cr Sullivan said.
“The race normally attracts around 300 yachts and 4,500
sailing competitors to Geelong over the Australia Day holiday period. The
fireworks and the entertainment program will provide a much-needed boost for
Geelong businesses and artists.”
Festival of Sails Chairman Roger Bennett welcomed the return
of the fireworks and thanked the City of Greater Geelong for its support.
“We’re really delighted to see the annual fireworks back on
the program for all the community to enjoy,” he said.
“As a major event which would normally attract thousands of
people, COVID-19 is continually forcing us to rethink our approach and innovate
to allow us to deliver a safe -albeit different - regatta for everyone.”
Mr Bennett said this year’s regatta entertainment will
include an initiative called ‘Gigs by Festival of Sails’ where more than 40
bands will be performing at venues throughout the Geelong CBD across the
five-nights of the regatta.
"While the conditions of 2022 have meant we can’t deliver our
traditional Waterfront festival this year, we’re hoping our Gigs program will
give our local live music, hospitality and events industry a bit of a boost
with free entertainment for the community.”
COVID-safe guidelines for the event include:
- Practising good hygiene
and regularly and thoroughly washing your hands.
- Wearing a face mask if
you are unable to maintain distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.
- There may be large
crowds, so please be patient in queues and maintain distance from others
- If you feel unwell, stay
at home, get tested and isolate until negative.
Pet owners are asked to ensure that their animals are safe
and secure during the fireworks display.