- Title: Berlin gets ready for New Year's Eve amid fireworks ban
- Date: 30th December 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESWOMAN FOR ORGANISERS OF NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATIONS, ANJA MARX, SAYING: "Of course we hope it will be nice, that it will be a wonderful party, that it will remain very peaceful and happy. We also have a program aimed at pleasing everyone, for all generations, and for everyone. There are Berlin greats like Frank Zander or Kerstin Ott, the Swedes Mando Diao, the Gipsy Kings. We have something for everyone and hope that it will be a very happy party." PEOPLE LOOKING BEHIND FENCES SIGN READING (German): "BRINGING FIREWORKS, WEAPONS, GLASS BOTTLES AND OTHER DANGEROUS OR SHARP OBJECTS IS FORBIDDEN." (SOUNDBITE) (German) PASSERBY, MARTIN HELLMUTH, SAYING: "I am against a complete ban on fireworks, but I am in favour of having dangerous fireworks banned, for example cannon beats and other similar stuff. But I think there are a few nice rockets that just belong to the night." (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR, SANDRA CLUTTERBACH, SAYING: "We are having the same discussions in Australia and putting all the money towards the bushfires that are happening over there so I can certainly see their point of view. It will be a shame to miss the fireworks but...half-hearted. Half-hearted about that. But I think this looks wonderful, absolutely amazing, so looking forward to it." (SOUNDBITE) (German) PASSERBY, MARKO SEIFERT, SAYING: "The tradition says that they (fireworks) are part of it, so I think it is good. Personally, I am no fan of them because it is too loud (LAUGHS). And my son as well." BERLIN, GERMANY (DECEMBER 27, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FIREWORKS BEING TESTED EITORF, GERMANY (DECEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING TO BE THE FIRST ONES TO BUY FIREWORKS AT WECO, A COMPANY IN EITORF FAMOUS AMONG FIREWORKS FANS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING BIG BOXES OF FIREWORKS PEOPLE QUEUING TO BUY SMALLER FIREWORKS PACKAGES PEOPLE LEAVING WECO WITH A TROLLEY LOADED WITH BOXES BERLIN, GERMANY (DECEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF SHOP WITH SIGN READING (German): "FIREWORKS" VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING FIREWORKS (SOUNDBITE) (German) CUSTOMER, MIKE WILKE, SAYING: "It's just once a year. And I spend money on bangers once a year, for New Year's Eve." FIREWORKS IN A BAG ON THE GROUND (SOUNDBITE) (German) CUSTOMER, MARCO FIETZ, SAYING: "Well, I don't think many will stick to the ban. Whether they can get it through is another question. I think it's great, the coloured lights and everything, the effects, the volume. So, because it's once a year, you're already looking forward to it." BERLIN, GERMANY (DECEMBER 30, 2019) (REUTERS) POLICE GOVERNING BODY BUILDING SIGN READING (German): "POLICE GOVERNING BODY" SPOKESPERSON FOR BERLIN'S POLICE, THILO CABLITZ, WALKING PAST (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESPERSON FOR BERLIN'S POLICE, THILO CABLITZ, SAYING: "The pyro-ban zones that we set up this year are ultimately the result of the fact that we have to step up our efforts to ensure that pyrotechnics, firecrackers and rockets are not thrown at other people, that people are not shot at (with fireworks) and endangered. That is why we are setting up these pyro-ban zones. Actually, it should be clear to everyone that you don't do that. Last year, it showed that many things were damaged and some people were injured. And that is exactly what we want to avoid." SIGN READING PALASSTRASSE, IN THE DISTRICT OF SCHOENEBERG, ONE OF THE AREAS WHERE FIREWORKS THIS YEAR HAVE BEEN BANNED FIRECRACKER ON THE GROUND VARIOUS OF PALLASSTRASSE
- Embargoed: 13th January 2020 13:32
- Keywords: Berlin Fireworks New Year's Silvestermeile partial ban
- Location: BERLIN AND EITORF, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN AND EITORF, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA002BC62LON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Berlin prepared on Monday (December 30) to host a big party at the Brandenburg Gate - but without its famously vibrant firework display.
People from all over the world are expected to welcome the New Year at the city's landmark, donning funny hats and eye-catching costumes for one of the biggest celebrations in Europe with stages, bands and stands placed along the central roads to provide visitors with music, drinks and food.
Traditionally, the sky of Berlin is lit up by fireworks at midnight - not only at the Brandenburg Gate, but from balconies and rooftops, in gardens and parks, even in the smallest side streets until the early hours.
But this year fireworks have been banned at the Brandenburg Gate, as well as Alexanderplatz and other areas in the city.
The ban, which comes into force at 1700 GMT on New Year's Eve, applies to all rockets, battery fireworks, fountains and Chinese-bangers (firecrackers).
Only sparklers, table-fireworks, and penny bangers, which can be used on any other day of the year, are allowed.
But revellers seem unlikely to abide by the ban, judging from the popularity of fireworks warehouse WECO in Eitdorf, where customers camped outside ahead of opening to take away huge boxes full of rockets and bangers.
Back in Berlin, pop-up fireworks shops were also doing a roaring trade, with clients open about the fact they were buying for New Year.
"It's just once a year," Mike Wilke said.
(Production: Martin Schlicht, Oliver Barth, Elena Gyldenkerne)
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