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Nat'l Day fireworks set for Taichung

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) confirmed yesterday that Taiwan's National Day fireworks will be held in Taichung City as planned, with the city promising to make this a wonderful event.

Before yesterday, it was unclear if this annual event would take place as always, as the nation is still distraught over the recent Penghu air tragedy and the Kaohsiung gas explosions. Some suggested that the government refrain from holding the fireworks display this year.

However, the National Day celebration review committee decided yesterday that the fireworks display will be carried out as usual.

Canceling the Celebration Unnecessary: Wang

According to Legislative Speaker Wang, who also chairs the committee, after the disasters, locals demonstrated a great deal of compassion and donated food, money and various essential items to disaster victims, which has helped to comfort the victims. In addition, ongoing reconstruction and relief efforts have also provided much support to those affected by the accidents.

The National Day fireworks have always played an important role in National Day celebrations, said Wang, adding that this activity is expected to bring the nation out of its gloomy mood while stimulating the local economy.

In addition, the Taichung City Government never stopped preparing for the fireworks display. The National Day review committee made its decision in 30 minutes, as no one objected to holding the event.

With a budget of NT$30 million, the government is not scaling down the National Day fireworks display. NT$9 million of the budget will go to the fireworks, according to Wang.

This year's budget is much lower compared with a decade ago, when the budget fell in the range of NT$40 to NT$50 million.

Taichung City to Do Its Best

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said yesterday that the government has never wavered in its decision to hold the fireworks event, and he stressed that the city will do its best to make the fireworks a memorable sight.

While some suggested that the fireworks display be canceled, Hu responded that the nation should maintain a viewpoint of the national celebration in its entirety instead of canceling one particular event.

Besides the city government, various trade groups and organizations in Taichung, including bakeries, hotels and restaurants have also expressed a strong interest in holding the event.

The fireworks will be set off in a special industrial zone in Taichung Harbor. Shuttle services will be provided in the area to alleviate traffic on the night of the fireworks display.

Taichung City Government estimates that the Double Ten National Holiday will attract 1.2 million visitors, creating NT$1.2 billion worth of business during the three-day event.

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