Fireworks will bring in Derry’s year as City of Culture

. Picture Martin McKeown.
. Picture Martin McKeown.
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Derry is gearing up to welcome 2013 with some spectacular public celebrations in the countdown to New Year’s Eve.

erry is gearing up to welcome 2013 with some spectacular public celebrations in the countdown to New Year’s Eve.

The celebratory event on December 31 is specifically designed for families and will take place along the Riverfront at Queen’s Quay. Commencing from 19:50pm – 20:30pm (7.50pm-8.30pm) the celebration will include the city’s largest fireworks and pyrotechnic show at 20:13pm (8.13pm) to welcome in 2013.

Jacqueline Whoriskey, Event Organiser said: “This New Year’s Eve event promises to be a great celebration and an opportunity for families to come along to the riverfront and be part of welcoming a fantastic year of culture for our city in 2013”.

Public information and advice from organisers in relation to recommended viewing areas, traffic diversions and parking, details of which are outlined below and are available online at and from local radio stations for regular updates on traffic and travel. Information is also available about “Voices of Derry~Londonderry” message wall and Sounds of the City evening events on the site.

Jacqueline Whoriskey continued: “Main times to remember are the opening of the event zone at 7.15pm with the New Year’s Eve event starting at 7.50pm with fireworks at 8.13 (20:13). It is expected the event will conclude shortly after 8.30pm.

“Sounds of the City” also have evening events organised across a number of venues while earlier in the evening you can leave a personal New Year’s message in Guildhall Square on the “Voices of Derry~Londonderry” message wall. Recommended viewing areas are along Queens Quay from the City Hotel to Council Offices and to facilitate this zone the area will close to traffic shortly after 7.00pm to 8.45pm.

Car parking information is also available on the website and the Peace Bridge will close from 6.30pm-09.00pm on New Year’s Eve. Full details of event information are available from”.

The public are advised that the primary viewing area for the water and shore based production, which will begin at exactly 7.50pm will be at the event zone along Queen’s Quay from the City Hotel as far as the Derry City Council offices, the area will open at 7.15pm to allow public access to take up position for viewing.

Designated viewing areas will be at Sainsbury’s and Ebrington Parade ground, although organisers have advised that there will be elements of the event where viewing will be limited at these locations. Fireworks show commences at 8.13pm (20:13).

Motorists are advised that in order to accommodate the safety of the viewing public there will be some road closures and diversions in place on the evening of Monday 31st December. Queens Quay will be closed to traffic from 7.10pm-8.45pm with diversions in place during this time; traffic will be allowed access to City Hotel off Harbour Square Roundabout where required.

Access from Strand Road into Lower Clarendon Street and Boating House Lane will be controlled from 6.30pm and there will be no exit onto Queens Quay from these streets at this time. Similarly, access from Strand Road into Baronet Street and Fletcher Avenue will be controlled from 7.15pm and parking restrictions will be in force.

St Columb’s Road will be closed to traffic between 2pm and 9pm except to drivers who have been issued with passes.

A limited number of Blue Badge holders will also be able to access the road for the provision of disabled parking.

The DRD car park on Queen’s Quay and Strand Road will also be closed to the public from midnight on Sunday 30th December until 8am on Tuesday 1st January to allow for site build.

Vehicles will be not be permitted to park along Queens Quay from 5pm onwards and parking restrictions will also be in place along Baronet Street, Fletcher Avenue and along the left hand side of St Columbs Road from 2pm.

Drivers travelling from Limavady, Culmore and Buncrana direction are advised to use the available car parking at Sainsbury’s and the University of Ulster (Magee campus) whilst those travelling from Strabane and Nixon’s Corner direction should use Foyleside car park which will be open until 10pm.

For those travelling from the Waterside, parking is available at the “Shale” / Hockey Pitch at St Columb’s Park Leisure Centre, Limavady Road during the event. This car park will close at 10 pm.

Additional city side car parking is available at locations on Bridge St, Foyle Rd, Foyle Valley Railway, Lawrence Hill, Society Street and William Street, and at the waterside on Alfred Street, Bonds Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpsons Brae and Waterside Health Centre. Drivers are reminded to avoid parking anywhere where they may be blocking entrances to residences or businesses or where they may be obstructing emergency access.

Where possible, those attending are strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking to the event. Details of all buses can be found by visiting

To facilitate the show and for health and safety reasons, the Peace Bridge will be closed to the public from 6.30-9pm on New Year’s Eve. Pedestrians and cyclists who use the peace bridge are advised to consider alternative routes.

The Greenway and cycle path at St Columbs Park will also be closed on 31 December.

Disabled persons attending the event are advised that the drop off point is the entrance to Custom House Street.

There’s also an opportunity to leave your New Year message as part of the “Voices of Derry~Londonderry” in Guildhall Square from 4.00pm and Sounds of the City initiatives has arranged evening events in the Nerve Centre, ICON and St Columbs Hall.