Fireworks have emerged as a clear favourite among readers of The Courier when it comes to council replacing the traditional Australia Day celebrations.
Two-thirds of subscriber voters said they would prefer fireworks to be the main event, with mixed views about when they should be held.
The most popular result was a fireworks event in summer at 33%, followed by fireworks for the Begonia Festival at 17% and then Christmas ranked as the third most popular option at 15%.
Only one-third of all voters said they would prefer a sound and light show, after the council said the option would cost up to $250,000,.
In comparison, the fireworks show usually cost $38,000.
See the results here.
The Courier spoke to Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney, who said the council wanted more public feedback after they previously received mixed opinions from the community.
"The problem we had was we didn't have a stand out winner in the feedback so far," Cr Moloney said.
"We really did feel it was hard to make a way forward without community consultation."
Cr Moloney said the council had received "strong feedback" against a fireworks show in the past.
"Fireworks have more limits, you can't do them on wet nights and there are bushfire season concerns," he said.
"While it's significantly more costly, there has been support for a sound and light show, as we've seen with White Night and Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights recently.
"Sound and light shows have more longevity, whereas fireworks are more short-lived, it's fifteen minutes and then you've spent all the cash."
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Cr Moloney said the council was exploring the possibility of a larger event if the sound and light show option went forward, which could cost even more than the projected $250,000, due to the expensive hire fees for the projectors required.
"The dollars is a question of scope, it could be double that depending on scale and location," he said.
"For us, it's getting an understanding of scale and the best time of year."
People wanting to have their say can participate in the council survey here.
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