As we approach the New Year celebrations a clearer picture emerges. Well, for the weather anyway!
The good news is a forecast of partially clear skies, dry, and moderate temperatures of between 12 to 15°C for the lower-lying areas such as Funchal. What is less clear is how the crowds will be managed, especially for the world-famous Madeira fireworks display.
The Christmas stalls were already all but disbanded but the fireworks and refreshments continue, as normally as possible. The government has asked locals to watch the fireworks from home but, however, has stated that there will be a 'solution' for those who can't.
A limit has been set of 10,300 people to be able to see the show from the places designated, these being Praça CR7, Avenida Sá Carneiro, Avenida do Mar, and viewpoints of Nazaré and Neves (with limited and controlled access for 380 people) and Pico dos Barcelos (limited to 515 people). How this will be policed – who knows! It was also announced that three cruise ships will be in the Port of Funchal, passengers will attend the show without coming ashore (pretty standard, just fewer ships than previous years).
The fireworks will be broadcast on RTP-Madeira, on the channel naminhaterra.com, for those who cannot attend or view from home. Mark Blezard says, "My advice – for our residents – just walk down towards the marina of Funchal. Once past the new Savoy hotel (the street behind), you'll still be able to see pretty much everything without entering Avenida do Mar which is the main viewing point by the marina."