Blanes' annual International Fireworks Competition (Costa Brava), which this year celebrates its 44th edition, started on Thursday night, attracting more than 100,000 people to watch the show, according to initial estimates by the Mayor of the Catalan coastal town, Josep Marigó. The event was supervised by pyrotechnic and three-time festival winner, Tomás de Castelló. The competition, which will run until Sunday, involves four professional pyrotechnics: the Valencian which opens the competition, last year´s winner from Granada, one from Aragón and a last one from Slovenia. The winner will be chosen by a jury, which this year is open to the public and formed of volunteers.
|The first firework night in Blanes' International Competition|
(by A. Recolons)
Blanes, a coastal town in Catalonia's Costa Brava, launched one of the top summer attractions in the Counties of Girona, the Blanes' International Fireworks Competition. The event started on Thursday night with the fireworks display by pyrotechnic and three-time festival winner, Tomás de Castelló de la Plana. More than 100,000 people filled the beach and the promenade in Blanes to enjoy the show, which is "powerful, full of lights and color" according to the Mayor of Blanes, Josep Marigó. No incidents occurred apart from the lack of wind, which has concentrated much smoke in the launching area, and a certain "lack of pace" of the show, as experts reported.
The show, which started on Thursday, is the start of a contest that will run until Sunday. It is an international competition, one of the most important in Europe, in which various companies from around the world participate. This year, the main participants include Angustias Pérez, the last year winner from Granada; a pyrotechnic from Zaragoza who participated in the event last year and Privatex, a Slovenian pyrotechnic who will close the competition on Sunday.
One of the main novelties of this year's competition is that the jury is opened to the public and is formed of volunteers. The winner will be selected by the eight members of the Technical Committee and 40 members of the Popular Jury, of which twelve are chosen among all those who have requested to be part of it.
The Mayor of Blanes emphasized that despite the high concentration of people, the night has passed without any notable incidents. In fact, the security and emergency plan, chosen as the model to follow, which involved more than 100officers from the Catalan Police, the fire brigade, the Guardia Civil and medical services, worked perfectly and the event took place without any incident apart from small actions "in the areas with concentration of lots of people," said Marigó.
This is the third year that the fireworks will last four days instead of six as it used to be two years ago, due to the City Council´s decision to reduce the format, budget and awards. This year everything remains as last year. With a total budget of €101,000, the City Council will pay a maximum amount of €19,000 to each pyrotechnics participating in the event. The prize for the winner will be €6,000, the invitation to participate in the competition next year and participation in Girona's street festival with the additional amount of €12,500. This year 10 requests to participate in the competition have been received.
CNA/ Neringa Sinkeviciute