Generous newcomers fund fireworks

The Blossom Festival fireworks will go ahead this year, thanks to the generosity of two anonymous Alexandra residents.

Festival organiser Martin McPherson said he was approached by a couple after last year's festival, who offered to give $6000 to help pay for this year's fireworks.

It came after the festival committee appealed to the public for money for last year's display because of a funding shortfall, raising almost $6000.

This year, faced with the same funding problem, Mr McPherson contacted the couple and asked them if they were still keen to help.

They said yes. The anonymous couple, who were relatively new to the area, wanted to give the money because they were passionate about the festival but did not want recognition, he said.

''I am really quite touched. Words fail me to express gratitude to these two [residents].''

It was great to see newcomers to Alexandra getting behind and supporting the festival, he said. The fireworks display is in its third year and part of the The News Mardi Gras event.

''It's an impressive display.

''It's world class and up there with any [display] anyone would see at any metropolitan city.

''They are seen right across the town.''

The Mardi Gras marks the opening of the festival, held at Linger and Die next Friday, which is expected to draw 2000 to 3000 spectators.

The event starts at 5pm. The annual Round the Clock Race, a best dressed bike competition, and the Flying 100 cycle race will feature, as well as food and live entertainment.

A new ''egg catching'' competition would also be held.

-liam.cavanagh@odt.co.nz

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