Sun­day, December 3

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page -

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.”

Mik Maks

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

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