Territory Day will be lit up with reckless abandon once again as Cracker night has been reinstated, along with public celebrations and music performances across the Northern Territory.
The NT government cancelled the July 1 celebrations last year due to a prohibition of mass gatherings in the wake of COVID-19 and what Chief Minister Michael Gunner said were fears of fireworks from Wuhan, China.
But lighting fireworks off and “blowing stuff up” is back on the agenda for the biggest celebration day of the year along with four major events and 17 community events across the Territory.
Renowned Australian performers along with some of NT’s home-grown talent including Jess Mauboy and Yothu Yindi, will take to the stage during performances in Darwin and Alice Springs, with Hot Dub Time Machine and Eskimo Joe heading to the Top End and Busby Marou to the Red Centre.
The Katherine and Tennant Creek events will also have a “homegrown” focus, with an array of local musicians performing. Scheduled events from Groote Eylandt to Yulara, will also help regional and remote communities celebrate Territory Day.
Last year, Mr Gunner promised this year would be “the best one yet” after he was forced to cancel last year’s festivities.
“[We’ll get] back to doing what we really love to do once a year – blowing stuff up,” he said last year while declaring the ban on celebrations.
Mr Gunner said at the time that he was called by firework sellers claiming they didn’t want to sell them because it was “not safe” and that imports of fireworks come from near the original coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan, China.
Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles said while festivities will go ahead this year, everyone needs to be reminded of COVID-19 measures while celebrating.
“We still do need to remember that we are in a global pandemic and those COVID measures [apply],” she said.
“So, make sure that when you are letting of those crackers and celebrating Territory Day you not only do it in a safe manner with the firecrackers, but also remembering that COVID is an ever-present threat in our community.”
It was unclear how lighting fireworks off would transmit the virus in a jurisdiction that has yet to record community transmission.
More info about Territory Day events, can be found by visiting www.territoryday.nt.gov.au