Ypao fireworks display to ring-in New Year - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ypao fireworks display to ring-in New Year

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Island residents can look forward to a spectacular show in the sky as they ring in the New Year.  Island residents won't be the only ones enjoying the show as tourist arrivals are on the rise.  

It's a forty-year tradition going strong as the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association is again the main sponsor of the island's annual New Year's fireworks display. The show, which is set to take place at the stroke of midnight Saturday night at Ypao Beach Park, will go on despite low inventory. GHRA executive director Mary Torre recalls an incident that occurred earlier this year that caused a portion of the island's inventory to burst off prematurely into flames at Q's Ranch.

"Unfortunately earlier this year in July there was an explosion with one of their containers, which had the large shells so what we have available on the island is actually small-to-medium-to-large shells," she said.

Despite the incident, Torre guarantees a quality show that ties in with the island's buy local initiative. "Regardless of who the off-island vendor has been in the past, it's always been the local team here on Guam to actually put together the show and light it off," she said.

It's not just fireworks that'll be up to kickoff the New Year, but also Guam's visitor numbers. Torre says holiday festivities showed an increase in tourist arrivals to round out 2011. "Right now, of course, it's the busy season it's the holiday season so this is the time of the year we actually see arrivals go up. So we've always projected that but we're going to end the year off with a lot of new surprises," she said.

"We've had really good rates over the last few months especially some new charters from China. We've really seen a different demographic on Guam to add to our Japanese visitors. We've seen a lot from Korea and Taiwan increase and then with the additional charter flights from China. It kind of makes us a little bit more well-rounded."

Torre hopes locals and visitors alike will enjoy the display, saying, "This is a great way to combine all the festivities going on and to celebrate with the local community so they have something to look forward to every year."

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