SUNDAY night's fireworks display at Lake Wendouree was a chance to say thankyou to Ballarat residents for the wretched past two years, says the City of Ballarat.
The annual fireworks display moved to a new time and date with an estimated crowd of around 20,000 people watching on from the banks of Lake Wendouree.
Traditionally an Australia Day event, the decision to scrap the fireworks on that day was made 13 months ago by the City of Ballarat councillors who voted to hold the fireworks as part of the Summer Sundays event this year.
While debate will always rage about the merits of a $38,000 spend for a 15 minute spectacular, for many the issue was whether more could be done to allow a greater attendance, with the Sunday time slot possibly keeping some tourists away.
Mayor Daniel Moloney said he watched the display from the eastern side of Lake Wendouree. He said he was thrilled to be outside with the community again.
The mayor said he felt crowds were on a par with previous Australia Day events, but were more spread around the lake.
"To me it looked like people were spreading out across the whole area," he said.
"There was also a lot of traffic around, but after the past couple of years, it was great to see so many people out, a lot of young kids, and it was clear people were trying to space out some more."
Councillor Moloney said the council would take feedback on board and would discuss plans going forward for the spectacle over the coming months.
"(We) will review the success of this year's fireworks event to help guide future events," he said.
He said this year's show was a great opportunity to thank Ballarat locals for all their hard work, and in many cases sacrifices, over the past two years.
"The feedback we received from the public was for a summer based fireworks event," Cr Moloney said.
"This time we decided to tie it in with Summer Sundays. Some things we do as tourism drivers other things we do for the community, which this most certainly was, but i think this is one of those events where we could achieve both outcomes."
"We want to thank the crowds for returning to our city's events and we hope that people continue to enjoy the large events calendar still to come."
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