HORSHAM CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
Sunday, December 3
The pyrotechnician in charge of a fireworks spectacular set to cap off Horsham Carols by Candlelight on Sunday has promised an intense and dramatic finale to the event at Sawyer Park.
Northern Fireworks director Matthew Batty said he planned a dramatic display that would be significantly bigger and brighter than last year’s display.
“There is a lot going into it. It will be a spectacular show – twice as big as last year – and I’m not sure there’s been anything in the area like it for quite a while,” he said.
Northern Fireworks is sponsoring the carols night, again likely to attract thousands of people to Sawyer Park’s riverbank setting.
Mr Batty said in response to the success and community feedback from his display last year, he had put together a bigger display that was specially designed to feature red and green colours of Christmas.
“There will be a heavy concentration of red and green, but there will also be burst high-altitude shells on top of it all,” he said.
Mr Batty operates his Northern Fireworks sideline business out of Sunbury, where his full-time job as a financial planner is far removed from his fireworks passion.
He has been involved with fireworks for almost 15 years, running his own fireworks business for three, and working across Australia on events and projects such as the Brisbane Riverfire, Sydney Harbour Bridge and touring music festivals.
He said he would launch his ful- ly computer-programmed show from Horsham City Oval next to Sawyer Park, which meant the crowd would be right underneath the display.
“It’s all done with computer and electrically fired with every shot programmed. After setting it all up it will be case of hitting ‘go’,” he said.
“I try not to think about the time involved in setting up and the paperwork and administration involved, but there is a lot of preparation.
“I’ll probably be out there for four or five hours and spend several hours on design. Probably the least amount of time spent on it will actually be on the day.”
Mr Batty said he was taking partic- ular interest in the Horsham carols because he and his wife were considering moving to the Wimmera.
“My wife worked for a couple of years at the hospital in Horsham and is keen to return,” he said.
“We also have family not too far from Horsham so we’re considering our options.
“The carols committee has also been outstanding to deal with and it’s been great to be able to support them.”
The fireworks finale will be only part of a huge night of celebration involving singing, performances and community interaction.
Dynamic children’s rock band The Mik Maks are appearing at the event for the first time.
Fresh from their largely sold-out Working on the Farm Tour, the Victorian entertainers will bring their kids rock tunes to the Horsham Soundshell stage.
Brothers Joel, Al and Dean Mcinnes team up with their sidekick ‘Drums the Panda’ to kick off the main-stage entertainment.
“We simply can’t wait to sing and dance with young families of Horsham,” Dean said.
“We’ve got some rocked-up classic carols to share as well as our very own Mik Mak Christmas songs.”
The Mik Maks will perform two song sets across the evening, including new tracks and favourites from their two studio albums.
“Joel and I are both teachers by trade, and all of us in the band have got young kids of our own, so we know what children enjoy, and most importantly, what makes them laugh and dance,” Al said.
The Mik Maks play regularly at festivals across Australia and were contestants on television program Australia’s Got Talent last year.
The carols program features consistent opportunities through the night for the crowd to join in with carol singing.
Community choir Voices of the Wimmera, performing since 2016 under the direction of Max Pietruschka and choir leader Bev Miatke, will provide support for the many songs celebrating the season.
Voices of the Wimmera involves people of all abilities who perform at a variety of events and functions.
A highly credentialed carols band, featuring several musicians performing regularly across the region, will provide musical support.
Many guest performers, from school age to seasoned entertainers, will also take to the stage. Pre-show entertainment starts from 5.30pm and the main program will start at 7.30pm.
This year’s Horsham Carols by Candlelight will raise money for Christian emergency food centres and volunteers will accept community donations at the event.
The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM sponsor the carols.
SUPPORT: Voices of the Wimmera choir, pictured at the Richard Morris Memorial Concert at Horsham Town Hall, will provide support for many songs celebrating the season at the carols. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER