Gozo to open 16th Malta International Fireworks Festival
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The Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority have announced that the 16th edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival will be taking place on three nights between Saturday 22nd and Sunday 30th April.
The Festival will be taking place in three different locations around the Maltese Islands, namely Xaghra (Gozo), Marsaxlokk and Valletta.
The event kicks off in Gozo on Saturday 22nd April, followed by a performance in Marsaxlokk on Friday 28th April, and the Grand Finale taking place in the Grand Harbour, Valletta on Sunday 30th April.
This year’s closing event is going to be particularly special, as apart from marking the anniversary of Malta joining the European Union, it will also form part of the celebrations to mark the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The music that will be used during the Grand Finale will be produced by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra to accompany the fireworks display performed by Pyroemotions and St Mary Fireworks Factory of Ghaxaq, with the latter being the 2016 festival winners.
Another novelty introduced this year is that, for the first time, all Malta Pyrotechnic Association members and observers were permitted to apply for a spot in the Festival.
In order to encourage increased local participation, the Organising Committee has decided to reward the highest placed local competitor with an invitation to participate at an international fireworks festival, taking place overseas, in order to showcase local skills.
This year, MTA received a total of 12 applicants, with 10 being from overseas, namely Italy, France, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic and Ukraine, with the remaining 2 being local.
From these, 6 participants were shortlisted, and expectations are high for this year’s festival as the chosen foreign participants have all won firework competitions overseas in the past.
All the foreign participants are free to purchase their fireworks from local licensed fireworks factories, while the local participants must let off their own manufactured fireworks.
MTA CEO, Mr Paul Bugeja, said that “this Festival is one of the main highlights in the Maltese calendar of events and it has grown in popularity both locally and abroad”. Mr Bugeja continued by thanking all those involved in this Festival, in particular the organising committee this year lead by Dr Godfrey Farrugia.”
He added, “it is relevant to note that this event is generating substantial trade to a wide spectrum of stakeholders wherever this is being organised. Gozo in particular has now become a permanent calendar event which helps to reduce seasonality even further in our sister Island.”
Photo: DOI/Andrew Sultana – (from left to right): MTA Chairman, Dr Gavin Gulia, Malta International Fireworks Festival Committee Chairman, Dr Godfrey Farrugia, Minister for Tourism, Dr Edward Zammit Lewis & Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo