Bratislava will welcome the New Year with a firework show

Other big cities either did not plan fireworks or scrapped them.

New Year's Eve celebration in BratislavaNew Year's Eve celebration in Bratislava (Source: Sme)

Bratislava will traditionally welcome the New Year with open-air festivities in the city centre, ending with grandiose fireworks on the Danube River. Other regional capitals have either not planned fireworks or have cancelled them. Instead they have sent the money saved to relieve people affected by a deadly gas blast in an apartment block in Prešov in early December.

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo realises that opinions about fireworks would always differ. He recalled that in the past, celebrations of the arrival of the New Year used to resemble a war zone in Bratislava, when groups of people lit their own small fireworks in the city centre and everywhere were broken bottles.

Related articleAmateur pyrotechnics prohibited in Bratislava, also on New Year’s Eve Read more 

“Organised festivities culminating with New Year fireworks were efforts of the city to get this under control and in my opinion, the city has managed this,” said Vallo as cited by the TASR newswire, adding that the city has already sent €20,000 to Prešov.

Since 2016, usage of amateur pyrotechnics is prohibited in Bratislava, also on New Year’s Eve. Only sparklers up to 40 cm, Roman candles and squibs are allowed.

New Year’s Eve in Bratislava

Sport lovers can start the last day of the year with the New Year's Run over the bridges of Bratislava. The 31th edition of this traditional running event will start from the University of Economics in Bratislava in Petržalka at 10:00. The 10.6-km long track will go via Prístavný Bridge, Apollo Bridge, Old Bridge and Lafranconi Bridge. SNP Bridge was excluded from the track due to technical reasons.

Those interested can register by person today until 20:00 in the Intersport shop at the Aupark shopping centre, while they can register in the morning before the start of the race, from 8:30 to 9:15.

Celebrations of the arrival of the New Year in Bratislava will be similar to last year with modern technologies. Thus, people can again experience a combination of lights, lasers, fireworks, music and an imposing exterior.

The programme will start at Hviezdoslavovo Square at 22:00 and will last until 2:00. Some Christmas market stands with refreshments will remain on the square.

For visitors of the city’s festivities, it will be a short walk to the Danube embankment to watch a large countdown timer on Ľ. Štúr Square. The fireworks will be traditionally ignited from a ship in the middle of the river. Like last year, it will be interconnected with a light-music show on Ľ. Štúr and Rázusovo Squares.

Security matters

The city council promises that enforced patrols of municipal and state police along with security guards, firefighters and paramedics will ensure security.

Due to security reasons, people will be able to enter Hviezdoslavovo Square only via six checkpoints. Here guards will check people to ensure they are not taking prohibited items into the central zone. These include glass bottles, knives or other sharp or dangerous items, as well as pyrotechnics.

The entry points into the central zone on Hviezdoslavovo Square will be at the crossroads of Laurinská and Rybárska Streets (close to the Čumil sculpture) and on the crossroad of Mostová and Medená Streets. Another one will be at Palackého Street from Kúpeľná Street. Guards will also check visitors at Jesenského Street next to the Slovak National Theatre and on Gorkého Street next to Poštová Banka. An entrance to the central zone will be located close to the US Embassy and Strakova Street.

Strengthened city transport

Organisers call on those planning to attend the celebrations in the city centre to leave their cars at home and instead use city transport. This is also because Mostová and Jesenského Streets, Vajanského Nábrežie and Ľ. Štúr Square will be closed for transport from 22:00 until 2:00 the following day.

On December 31, public transport will run until 20:00 according to the timetable for a “working day holiday”. Since this time trams will run on lines 3, 4 and 9 each 15 minutes until 2:30 and each 30 minutes from 2:30.

Night lines N21, N29, N31, N33, N34, N37, N44, N47, N53, N55, N61, N70, N74 and N80 will run each 30 minutes.

Night lines N72, N93 and N95 will run each 15 minutes between 23:30 and 2:30; afterwards they will run each 30 minutes.

During Wednesday, January 1, the public transport will run according to the weekend timetable.

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