Although the municipality of Midden Groningen is considering enforcing fireworks free zones at the end of 2019, there will be very few areas banning fireworks in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe this New Year’s Eve with the exception of the city of Groningen.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that while more and more Dutch municipalities are creating designated zones where fireworks are banned, the vast majority of the northern municipalities have no plans to limit the areas where fireworks can be set off on New Year’s Eve.
In Assen, the grounds of Landgoed Valkenstijn and the nearby dog park and petting zoo will ban fireworks. A recent national survey by NOS found that the majority of Drenthe municipalities were not planning to ban firecrackers and flares: a representative of the municipality of Borger-Odoorn told RTV Drenthe that fireworks bans should not be up to local governments.
Fireworks are an even more central part of New Year’s Eve traditions in Drenthe than the rest of the Netherlands. The practice of carbide shooting is recognised as part of the immaterial heritage of the province and involves sprinkling chunks of carbide stone into a milk can, adding water, closing the lid to let gas form, setting it on fire and then blowing the lid off.
There will be ten official areas where fireworks are officially banned in the city of Groningen. In addition to the city centre, the zones will primarily be around hospitals, retirement homes and stables and farms. Outside of the city, however, there are no official zones that will ban fireworks. The municipality of Midden Groningen is considering banning fireworks in certain areas next year.
On the other hand, there will be a handful of fireworks free zones across Friesland: nine areas in Drachten, the vicinity of the Formerum windmill on the island of Terschelling, a petting zoo on Schiermonnikoog, several retirement homes in Leeuwarden and Het Vierkant, a recreational centre in Harlingen.