From countdown chaos to a firework fiasco, Ottawa residents are unhappy
From countdown chaos to a firework fiasco, Ottawa residents say the New Years Eve party was more of a flop than a festival. The only thing that turned out better than expected was the turnout. An estimated 50,000 people were there to witness it, 20,000 more than organizers expected.
Since the party many have called local radio shows and written letters to the editor, calling the New Year's Eve party everything from embarrassing to boring. What went wrong? The problems started early on with the pre-fireworks entertainment.
Ottawas pageant was called a Story of Time, in which the audience was to follow a procession leading to six stages with performers saluting the last 1,000 years. The stages were built so close to the ground, only the few people in the front rows could see anything. Those who could see the show thought it wasnt much of a show. The "giant puppets" performance was confusing, as were most of the rest of the events. Instead of entertainment, most people got sore necks.
Climbers were scaling the Peace Tower, but to most of the audience they looked like ants. They were climbing to opera and original music scores that the crowd didnt enjoy or think was very upbeat and festive.
Then came time for the countdown. This turned into chaos as the numbers projected on the Peace Tower, went something like this: 10 . . . eight . . . nine (or was it an upside down six?) . . . three (sideways) . . . seven . . . one.
Finally, the fireworks. How can you go wrong with fireworks? Only $ 50,000 of the $ 90,000 budget was spent on fireworks, and the audience said it showed. Compared to the pyrotechnic extravaganzas televised from capitals around the world, some called the Ottawa display the equivalent of kids letting off a few cherry bombs.
The talk about the botched celebration has been going on for more than a week now, and most realize the only hope of making a difference is to look forward to next year. Maybe Ottawa will have the celebration of the century in 2001.
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