WHEN Hugh Ryan takes to the road in his XR8 Ford ute, Peterborough locals know it's party time.
Hugh is the resident pyrotechnician and the ute - plastered with "danger" and "explosives" signs - is his mobile office, packed to the roof with fireworks.
This New Year's Eve, Port Fairy residents are in for a treat: Hugh's fifth show at the seaside town is to be his biggest and best yet, boasting $5000 worth of blue comets, red florets, sky fire and never-before-seen aerial shells.
Hugh has been a Crack-A-Jack pyrotechnician at concerts from Kylie Minogue to Kiss, rodeos, and Melbourne's Carols by Candlelight, but says New Year's Eve is his favourite.
"I don't get to see much of it because I'm lighting the fireworks," said Hugh, also an agricultural explosives blaster. "But I love the reaction of the crowd and the applause at the end - just making people happy."
Hugh will be in Port Fairy with his Doberman, Jeddah, who will happily watch the display from the front of the ute.
"As a pup I'd bang on a corrugated iron door to get her used to loud noises, and now she's not bothered by it at all," he said. "I've let fireworks off in the paddock near cows and they aren't too fussed. Sheep too."