New Year Fireworks … The Full Story.

Having gone through the Diário de Notícias this morning, sadly I have to report that there is no newsworthy news on Madeira today. As I last resort, I also read for the first time the Journal da Madeira, the government sponsored newspaper (couldn’t possibly be propoganda could it?) and again nothing worthy of mention.

So I have brought forward the full account of the preparations for the new year firework display, which was to be published late this week.


By the time you read this the construction of the rigs, frames etc. that launch the fireworks will be complete, having had up until Xmas around 40 staff stationed in Madeira’s ‘military zone’  (in the shipyard) working for some time with around 17 tons of fireworks. Xmas is followed by a influx of more technicians and other staff, bringing the numbers up to around 100 in total for the later preparations.

The display is the responsibility of the company Macedo, a Portuguese company, who have been winning awards since 1959 for their firework displays not just in Portugal but as far afield as Italy, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Canada, Spain and Monaco. Their crowning glory was new year 2006/2007 when they entered the Guinness book of records for the largest ever firework display – that of course took place on Madeira. That gives them something of a reputation to live upto this year, and the boss Carlos Macedo knows that any slip-ups will disappoint the tens of thousands of spectators who will be lining the streets of Funchal and far beyond in this years event. He is the first to admit that the total elimination of some failure is practically impossible, and attention to detail is the key to minimising that risk. Macedo have already managed 6 such year end displays on Madeira, so experience is on their side.

As well as the critical positioning of the individual firework sets and displays, there is the complex matter of precisely timed and coordinated detination for the eight minutes of action, through the use of computers and radio transmissions (FM and VHF), permitted through the granting of a special licence. As well as the main control centres (2) there will also be a mobile control centre installed in a parked car somewhere, that can be called upon in the event of faults or problems.

The positioning of each display will be critical not just for visual effect, but also for safety. The more powerful explosions are situated well away from the Avenida do Mar, and where possible out at sea.

On the final day, there will be 383 people employed on the project, including catering and security staff, when those 66,000 explosions kick off.

As well as the public display at midnight, there will be thousands of fireworks going off on cruise ships, and around Funchal, and all over Madeira in private displays.

If you would like to visit the Macedo’s website, this is the link

If you have any special photographs of the event that you would be prepared to share with those people unlucky enough not to be able to attend, please email them to [email protected] and we will publish a dedicated page on the website for all to see worldwide. The pictures can be of anything of interest and relevant to the night, and not necessarily just fireworks. If you wish to provide your details, an appropriate credit will be accompany your contribution. Many thanks in anticipation.


Having today exposed the self-confessed Levada Mugger, the madeira4u undercover blog team is already working on another high-profile case to expose another of Madeira’s most wanted rogues. Rest assured, we will work to tirelessly to bring these people to justice, and clean up Madeira to again be the safest and most desirable place in the world to live and visit.

Leave a comment

Translate »