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Beijing delegation gifts fireworks to the city

3 February 2005

Beijing delegation gifts fireworks to the city

A delegation from Beijing, China will visit Wellington this week and gift an enormous fireworks display to the city to go off on Saturday night. The delegation includes the China Acrobatic Circus Show which will perform at the Michael Fowler Centre as part of the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations. It was during Mayor Kerry Prendergast’s visit to Beijing last year that the Beijing Municipal Government offered the fireworks display to the city. Beijing is one of Wellington’s friendly cities and Mayor Prendergast considers the visit and gift a sign of how warm and positive the relationship has become.

“This is all due to our excellent relationship with Beijing. It demonstrates the value of our friendship and the importance of building links through culture. That Beijing is prepared to makes this generous gift to Wellington shows the role the city is playing on the world stage. I’m pleased our relationship with Beijing is going from strength to strength and I look forward to opportunities where we can reciprocate the generosity of the Beijing Municipal Government.”

Beijing is also supplying technicians to set off the fireworks. The fireworks display is expected to be bigger than the city’s Guy Fawkes Day display and will run for around 25 minutes. Three barges with a series of smaller rafts strung out in front of them will be used in the harbour. The fireworks will go off at around 9.45pm on Saturday night when people are flocking into town after the Axa International Rugby Sevens.

The 40 acrobats from the China Acrobatic Circus Show will perform the traditional dragon dance in the Chinese New Year parade starting at 3pm, Saturday 5 February in Courtney Place, will put on a spectacular display at the Chinese New Year celebrations in Frank Kitts Park, and then perform in a stage show at the Michael Fowler Centre the following night.

The Beijing delegation arrives on Friday 4 February and will be formally welcomed by Mayor Prendergast at a ceremony at noon. The delegation is led by Mr Jin Shengguan, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress.


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