Edmonton will ring in the new year three hours early at its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The city is going back to a single display of fireworks on Dec. 31, and the show will take place at 9 p.m., instead of midnight.
The early hour is meant to be more family friendly, Mayor Don Iveson told reporters Tuesday.
“I get it,” said Iveson. “When the odometer actually rolls over is not always the best time for people and their kids to be out.”
The festivities will be held between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Capital Plaza next to the federal building at 9820 107th St.
The celebration is relocating from Churchill Square to the Alberta legislature grounds due to construction of the Valley Line LRT.
The events won’t come back to Churchill Square until 2019, Tannia Franke, spokesperson for the city said Wednesday.
Last year, with extra funding for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, the city was able to put on two fireworks shows, one at 8:30 p.m. and another at midnight.
Franke said several factors influenced the decision for an early time for the fireworks; a strong turnout to the early fireworks display last year, a desire not to disturb people living in apartment buildings near the legislature grounds, and an early Edmonton Oilers hockey game.
The Oilers have a game against the Winnipeg Jets scheduled for 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 and Franke said the hope is fans will be able to take in the fireworks following the game.
The timing of the fireworks display will be re-evaluated once the celebrations return to Churchill Square in 2019, Franke said.