Territory Day in Darwin 2018

We had heard stories of Territory Day in the NT. The day traditionally celebrates the independence in government from the Australian Federal Government to self government based in the Territory itself.  This year, 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of the event which occurred on the 1st July 1978. There are celebrations all over the Territory for the public in all the major towns.  The big event in Darwin features Neil Finn on Mindil Beach complete with fireworks display.

It is the only day of the year that people are allowed to purchase fireworks.  They go on sale at 9am from every shop in the town it would seem as they all have banners out declaring themselves to be a sales point.  Sales continue until 9pm on Territory Day night.

According to the official information th NT Government guide to crackers states that: "It is illegal to possess fireworks outside of Territory Day. Private fireworks can only be used between 6pm and 11pm on 1 July. Unused fireworks must be handed in to NT WorkSafe by noon 2 July". Well, I can't see any being handed it for a start. It also turned out many people do not own timepieces as the fireworks were going off well before 6pm albeit in a sporadic manner.  From the official time though they certainly started which was somewhat surprising as it was still daylight.  The effect of the fireworks couldn't be see but I guess some people just couldn't wait.

As the night progressed the level of fireworks intensified to the point that there was something exploding and lights in the sky in every direction you looked from our verandah vantage point in Palmerston.  (This city is about 17km outside of Darwin.) And it went on for hours. Just an amazing sound and light show the likes of which I have never seen before.  The video I have cobbled together is a rather poor representation of the activities in private residences all over the area.  Apart from what you see in the video, just listen to the explosions in the background as well.  The entire place sounds like a war zone. One of the fireworks has the distinct sound of incoming mortar heard in war movies so many times over the years. 

The video is only 3 minutes, but the fireworks didn't wind down until the legal time of 11pm.  You would still hear the odd one going off accidentally though.  I don't think fireworks are legally possessed by the public anywhere outside the Territory anymore but the whole event did bring back memories of Guy Fawkes night as a child.

Needless to say, it is a dark day for animals with our dog Boof initially taking refuge in the shower.  It turned out not to be a safe or dark enough place for him, so he somehow managed to insert himself under the bed.  It was there he stayed for the rest of the night.  Bruce, our other charge for the next few weeks appeared to be initially unconcerned but as the night wore on his agitation grew.  He became very clingy and although not as bad as Boof, there was no way he was going to be any further than a metre away from us for the rest of the night.

As I write this post at 6am the following morning, the town is remarkably quiet after last nights mayhem.  The smell of gunpowder hangs rather thickly in the still air but apart from that the activities of the night have finished. Well until the 1st July next year of course.

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