The last time Churchill Square in Edmonton was lit up with New Year’s Eve fireworks was in 2017.
After that the plaza was closed for construction and then the COVID-19 pandemic put any kind of celebration on the back burner. But now that public health restrictions are long gone, the party is back.
New Year’s Eve fireworks show returns to Edmonton’s Churchill Square
“After being on hold for COVID, everyone had tough years, so we wanted to make the celebration even more special for people,” said Sarah Ridley of the City of Edmonton. “So it’s important for us to welcome Edmontonians back to Churchill Square.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. (on) December 31, the city will host ice skating, music and dance performances. Fire pits and food trucks will also be on site and of course there will be fireworks. There will be two shows: one at 8:30 p.m. and the main event at midnight.
“I absolutely hope a lot of people come out and enjoy it,” Ridley said.
“However you celebrate the holidays, it’s a great way to end 2022.”
The city estimates that between 10,000 and 15,000 people will attend the event, and that’s not even counting those heading to ICE District Plaza for the Edmonton Oilers New Year’s Eve party.
“The Oilers are hosting the Winnipeg Jets for a New Years fight, so just like the playoffs, you’ll have this tailgate party to kick things off (and) then we’ll go straight into the watch party with the game on the big screen said Kevin Rapanos of Oilers Entertainment Group.
“Then, after the match, it will be the New Year’s party.”
The party will feature country music star and Oilers fan Brett Kissel.
“Hopefully we’re going to start 2023 off with a bang – a big Oilers win and a great night playing country music into the wee hours of the morning,” Kissel said.
Annual New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Edmonton moves to Alberta Legislature grounds
And with businesses also planning big parties, downtown is the place to be.
“We expect to be full, so we are already sold out for reservations,” said Ray Burton, general manager of Campio Brewing.
“It’s a very good sign to see people ready to come back and enjoy a very good evening.”
New Year’s Eve parties in Churchill Square and the ICE District are free to the public, as is public transit from 6 p.m. on December 31 until 3 a.m. on January 1 to make sure people get home home safely.
For more information on New Year’s road closures around the city center, click here.
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