Fuse is lit for Cromer New Year’s Day fireworks

The New Year always begins with a bang at Cromer when the fuse is lit on its annual January 1 fireworks display.

Since it was launched to usher in the new millennium the event has built up into the popular way for thousands of people to blow away the festive excesses at the resort before a unique teatime display of rockets and shells fired from its landmark pier and reflected in the sea below.

Fireworks committee chairman Jim Bond urged people to arrive well in time on Saturday to see the display and to enjoy events happening earlier in the afternoon, including a 3pm fun run and 4.30 torchlit procession.

'The idea has always been to bring people up to the coast for a breath of fresh air, something to eat and drink, and a fabulous firework display over the sea fired from Cromer Pier at 5 o'clock,' he said.

'This year, January 1 is a Saturday, so linger longer and enjoy the evening. Caf�s, pubs and restaurants will also be open, so there'll be plenty of places to get a cuppa or something stronger.

'We're delighted it's become such a successful annual event, and with plenty of good vantage points to watch the display, come early, we don't want anyone to miss it.'

The event has raised more than �40,000 for various good causes over the years.

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Donations from spectators last year raised over �7,000, which is divided between funding the following year's display and local charities.

'Everyone's aware that budgets are still tight, but we do ask people to give as generously as they can,' said Mr Bond. 'Just a few coins can make a lot of difference to local charities and good causes – and without everyone's help we couldn't continue the annual display.'

Clive Casburn of Premiere Fireworks said they had been planning and building the show for three months.

'The pre-finale will be red, white and blue, followed by a great gold finale lighting up the whole pier,' he explained.

The 3pm fun run, starting from the pier forecourt, is open to all ages and abilities, with categories for under 13 year-olds, 14-16 year-olds, seniors, and even fancy dress. Registration will take place from 2.30 pm on the pier forecourt for a fee of �1.

The torchlight procession leaves the churchyard at 4.30pm, with light-sabres and lanterns, available during the afternoon outside Cromer Museum. Mulled wine will again be served outside the museum, with tea, coffee, and hot soup available in the church, with a piano recital inside during the afternoon.

Cromer Pier will be closed from 8am on New Year's Day.