And just like that, we’ve said goodbye to one year and hello to a new one.
Launceston saw 2017 go out with two sets of bangs, in fireworks at Country Club Tasmania, and Royal Eve.
About 6500 people flocked the latter event, at Royal Park by the Tamar River, for an evening of food, drinks, good company, and entertainment.
As has been tradition for some time, two sets of fireworks were scheduled for the event: one at 9.30pm, and the traditional midnight display.
Anyone who stepped foot outside in Launceston on Sunday would have agreed that it was a windy way to say goodbye to the year that was.
It was no surprise then that the 9.30pm display of the fireworks was postponed, due to those high winds and the safety risk they pose. At 9.30pm, northerly winds were still 19km/h, with gusts of 30km/h.
Organisers and the pyrotechnician made the decision to delay the display, eventually letting them off – safely – about 10.20pm.
What was disappointing was the reaction from the Launceston community.
Complaints flew thick and fast as soon as the clock hit 9.31pm – “Where are our fireworks? What’s the hold up? We’ve got kids waiting.”
While no one likes to be kept waiting, and a more direct line of communication could have been employed by those at the event with the microphones, a little understanding goes a long way.
Many of the people voicing their anger on social media were not even at the event – they were watching from afar.
It would have been far worse if the fireworks were let off at the designated time, in unsafe conditions. The safety risk to people and property was real.
Instead of thanking the Royal Eve organising committee for pulling off two sets of fireworks displays in difficult conditions, some people opted instead for criticism.
The barrage of complaints that have appeared on social media would have been far worse (and justified) if something had actually gone wrong.
It is sad that what, on all other accounts, was a successful New Year’s Eve event for Launceston has been tainted by a 45-minute delay.
The main thing is that everyone made it home safely.
A delay seems like a small price to pay for that.