It has been wonderful to hear your stories from New Years Eve and see the amazing images and videos of the evening and the fireworks. We have had so many positive comments from visitors letting us know they have already booked for next year.
Feedback from both staff on the ground, medical support, policing and businesses has all been really positive.
The organisation for the New Years Eve event starts early in the year, long gone are the days when events just take place and little organisation is required, NYE has evolved over the years, and with stricter requirements around insurance, procedures, and legal requirements due to terrorism risks etc. this event is a big one to take place in a small harbour town with as many as 40K people having attended in previous years.
Throughout the year we met with, co-ordinated and paid for where necessary teams involved on the evening such as:
- Events Management Team inc road closures (Paid by BID)
- Omega Medical (Paid by BID)
- Stennack Surgery
- St.Johns Ambulance (Paid by BID)
- Aventail Security (Paid By BID)
- Pyrotechnics Company (Paid by BID)
- Cornwall Council
- St. Ives Town Council (Make a contribution towards the event in terms of time, resources and funding)
Now I know what you are thinking, everyone would come on NYE even if BID didn’t organise it…right?? Well yes, people would attend but there would be no fireworks or additional medical cover, safety, security, road closures etc. and it would be very unsafe for both those attending, the residents and businesses within town. By organising the event we endeavour to make this event the biggest, safest and most profitable it can possibly be.
The fireworks were amazing weren’t they? Fireworks by a professional Pyrotechnics company as you can imagine are quite expensive but they are a huge part of the New Years Eve celebrations and a draw for many to make accommodation bookings and to book tickets to events across town. Due to weather conditions other towns in Cornwall brought their fireworks forward to 6pm and other BID Managers have told us most visitors had left town by 10 pm at the latest whereas our celebrations and customer spending carried on into the early hours.
Due to a multi-year deal agreed with the pyrotechnics company we have had fixed costs of £6990 for the fireworks for a number of years. After a conversation with the company about the massive increase in wholesale costs of fireworks (going up as everything else is!) there was an important decision to make about whether we pay the usual £6990 but get a scaled-down display or look at options. The first thing we did was say ‘ok we usually have a similar display year after year but let’s see what you can really do’, after helping to design the show it was looking great but shorter than normal. A vote was put to the BID board to see if we should add £1000 to make this display amazing having had a few years off and the vote was ‘yes’ to add to it from money saved during the covid period when no events were taking place.
There were fewer people in the harbour than usual but it was still extremely busy, the dynamics of the evening post covid seem to have changed which is why it is more important than ever to invest in the event to get people ‘back to normal’. During the covid years, people went down the house party route, and looking at the volume of accommodation bookings and feedback from businesses/residents/visitors it seems people may not necessarily have been on the harbour to watch the fireworks but they were in St. Ives and spilling out of fancy dress house parties onto Park Avenue, The Malakoff and the road all the way up to the Harbour Hotel and beyond was lined with people streaming out of houses and hotels to watch the fireworks. During covid house parties became the ‘new norm’ and this shows it is taking a bit of time to get them feeling confident attending large-scale events and back into town and our pubs, bars, and restaurants. Bookings looked good which in turn brought a much-needed increase in footfall for businesses both in the week leading up to NYE and afterward.
Celebration Pyrotechnics which we use for our events is local and the best in the business. They have not only won lots of awards and do shows locally like Heartlands on bonfire night but also in Dubai and around the world, they also took the time to work through possibilities for St. Ives going forward. Lasers and music would be difficult due to them being on Smeatons with nothing to project onto, they felt the lasers would get a little lost in the winds and the exposed nature of the pier. We also looked at noiseless firework drones but these would again be difficult to launch from Smeatons in the middle of winter and many would get lost at sea, plus it would be hundreds of drone batteries to charge which would arguably have a greater impact environmentally than fireworks. We have had a second opinion on this by another professional pyrotechnics company who have said exactly the same thing due to our location so unfortunately for St. Ives it is Fireworks or no Fireworks and that seems to be our only option at present but we will continue to research other possibilities for the evening.
December 31 – New Years Eve – Why people choose St. Ives.
St. Ives famous fancy dress party and the annual fireworks display at the harbourfront over Smeatons Pier and the beach.
What started out as a local celebration in St.Ives has now grown to be what is said to be the third largest fancy dress party after London and Edinburgh. The celebrations spill out into St. Ives’ winding streets and crowds gather down at the harbour at midnight to see in the New Year.