Two major private fireworks displays on weeknights in Oslo last week have sent complaints soaring almost as high and as loud as the fireworks themselves. Residents complained that children were woken up, dogs started barking and lots of smoke lingered over the downtown area.
The first fireworks display on Wednesday night was connected to a 75th birthday celebration for Norway’s wealthiest man, shipowner and investor John Fredriksen. He mostly lives in London and became a tax emigrant to Cyprus years ago, but Oslo remains home and he celebrated with a gala dinner on the waterfront at Aker Brygge.
The event was held just as the large Nor-Shipping conference was winding down in Oslo, leading to the second major fireworks display Thursday night. It began around 10:40pm, just hours after Oslo also had been subjected to a deafening thunderstorm.
The latter event was initially meant to celebrate the christening of Viking Cruises’ newest cruiseship, but its owner Torstein Hagen cancelled the christening following the recent fatal Viking River Cruises in Budapest. Hagen turned over the fireworks and a concert featuring Norwegian band A-ha to Nor-Shipping.
Its organizers acknowledged the complaints and expressed regrets that the fireworks had bothered so many city residents. The fireworks had been approved by the city fire department, however, and no other approvals were legally required. Local politicians are now considering stricter regulation for private fireworks displays.