Keeping the Kyneton Show spark alive

Small town, big fireworks. While the Kyneton Showgrounds will be closed this year, the fireworks spectacular is being designed to be seen for miles. Photo: Sloane Griffin

This Friday night, the skies over Kyneton will be the backdrop for the biggest fireworks display the district has ever seen.
The Kyneton Show is upscaling its famous opening night fireworks.

“While we had to postpone the show, we still really wanted to give the community something to celebrate so we’ve doubled our fireworks budget,” show secretary Josephine Rutledge said.

“You will be able to see the light show spectacular from all around town – and beyond!

It may be the biggest community event in the district for two years since COVID restrictions cancelled most big events on the local calendar.

“We want people to gather with their friends and family to watch from home or their cars so we can all share the event as a community but without the crowds,” Ms Rutledge said.

Pyrotechnician Tony Finlay from Southern Cross Fireworks said because the showgrounds would be closed, he would have twice the space to be able to use much larger fireworks.

“It will be absolutely huge compared with what we have done in the past,” he said. “The size of the fireworks will be enormous and they were still pretty big at past shows.”

Where he usually uses a lot of ground effects for the crowds in front of the grandstand, with no one near the oval this year, he can use aerial shells that are five times bigger.

“The size of the fireworks has increased dramatically,” he said. “Where the display normally shoots 40 metres into the sky, this year the fireworks will reach 100 metres or more depending on weather conditions. You will be able to see them for miles around.”

The fireworks start at 9pm this Friday, November 19, rain, hail or shine. The Kyneton Show will return for its 160th show on November 18-19, 2022.

Vet’s top tips for sensitive animals

Kyneton vet, Dr Greg McIntyre, has been a long-time sponsor of the fireworks.

“We enjoy the fireworks but we understand that some animals can become distressed,” he said. “All animals can get frightened by loud noises. It’s a similar response to thunderstorms.”

Here are his top tips for sensitive animals if you know they’re worried by loud noise:

* Keep animals indoors, perhaps with some classical music that can calm dogs. You can also put the TV or radio on for background noise to help mask the sound.

* Make your home escape-proof by closing windows and dog doors.

* Create a safe space for your pet to hide. That could be a blanket over a table or their crate or cage for smaller animals.

* You can also draw the curtains but Dr McIntyre says animals are more worried by loud noise than the lights.

Dr McIntyre says if you’re still concerned get advice from an animal behaviourist or your vet who may recommend medication, pheromones or other techniques.

“There are some recordings you can use to desensitise the animal over time,” he said. “There are also special ‘thunder coats’ that apply gentle pressure over the whole body to calm the animal.

“The vast majority of animals can learn to adapt with the support of their family.”