Pyro priest lights the sky

LIGHTING UP THE SKY: Father Anthony Koppman, better know by his alter ego Holy Smoke, is back in Armidale for his 10th anniversary fireworks display and it promises to be the biggest and loudest show yet. Photo: Matt BedfordFATHERAnthony Koppman is back in town to light-up Armidale’s New Year’s Eve party, much to the envy of surrounding towns.
Nanjing Night Net

Potential poachers have persistently pursued the pyrotechnic priest.

But fortunately for Armidale, Tamworth and Glen Innes will either have to travel to see theshow or sit in the dark.

“I’m committed to Armidale,” he said.

“I don’t have any other plans.

“This is where I started the New Year’s Eve fireworks10 years ago.

“And I’ve been looking forward to coming back to light-up the sky.

“I’ve got a special heart for Armidale.”

This year, the show promises new and exciting colours, shapes and sounds.

And with a perfect weather forecast, Father Koppman plans to make it a night to remember.

“We’re bringing in some new products this year that we haven’t seen before, which are in line with what Sydney will be using,” he said.

“We’ll have a lot more aqua, a lot more brilliant colours that will burn in the sky for longer.”

While Holy Smoke will ensure the night goes off with a bang, the festivities will also include food vendors, market stalls, and children’s entertainment.

The party idea came from the Armidale Youth Council forum and young people will be at the heart of the festivities.

A DJ will kick the party on after the 9pm show and take the celebration through to the midnight finale.

“The big one is at 9 o’clock for the families, which will go for about 15 minutes,” Father Koppman said.

“Some of the fireworks will go more than 100m into the air.

“We will get them as high as we can.”

The best vantage points will be from Civic Park but viewing will be good throughout the city.

“Last year people from Kelly Plains commented that they could see them,” he said.

“So you can watch it from your back porch ifyou like.”

Event organiser Jane Guilfoyle said she was expecting big crowds this year.

“It’s a lot like the Autumn Festival,” she said

“The aim is to promote safe partying.

“We’ll have Peter Stanley on acoustic guitar and after 9pm, DJ’s will be performing for the younger crowds.

“There will be rides for the children, wood-fired pizza, ice cream from Neville’s and coffee.”

The party starts at 6pm in Civic Park, with the first fireworks display at 9pm and second display at midnight.

It’s BYO chairs and picnic blankets.

And Guyra residents can take a free bus from the big lamb at 6pm.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” Father Koppman said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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