Fireworks have long been synonymous with ringing in the new year in the Netherlands, but there will be ten fireworks free zones this New Year’s Eve in the city of Groningen.
Translation by Traci White
The zones will be located near hospitals, retirement homes, cemeteries and petting zoos. The Groninger Internet Courant reports that fireworks will also be banned in the city centre.
There were eight fireworks free zones in the city in 2017, and the two new additions this year are in the vicinity of the Eelderbaan petting zoo and the Sontweg stables. Signs will be put up to indicate fireworks free zones. Special investigating officers and security guards will be present in the zones to keep an eye out and make sure no one is violating the ban.
The nightlife areas in the city centre around the Grote Markt and the Vismarkt will be fireworks free zones once again this year. The municipality reportedly decided to ban fireworks in the centre because there is a higher risk of accidents due to so many people being out on the streets after midnight, and there are many vulnerable heritage buildings in the area.
The municipality, together with emergency services, students and business owners in the city centre, is once again working on a campaign to ensure a safe night on New Year’s Eve. The motto for the campaign – “Welcome to the city centre, but please leave your fireworks at home” – aims to discourage visitors from setting off fireworks in town.