Decade of big bangs

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Queenstowner Bill Falcone is celebrating his 10th anniversary in charge of the resort’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display tonight.

Thousands of revellers watch the pyrotechnics spectacular – launched from a barge in Queenstown Bay at midnight.

“It’s all very different from 10 years ago,” says approved fireworks handler Falcone.

“My first display was a lot smaller than the one we have today and was staged on the beach at Horne Creek.

“It’s still great being involved, although compliance regulations make things more difficult every year.”

He adds: “Safety has of course always been paramount but every dollar spent on compliance is one less spent on the size of the show.”

Falcone declined to comment when asked if extra precautions would be introduced after a rogue firework detonated amongst a crowd of Winter Festival partygoers in June.