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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Best of British at huge Carlisle Fireshow

A red London bus driven by Guy Fawkes will kick-start Carlisle’s annual fireworks extravaganza.

The free event in Bitts Park, which is in its 26th year, often attracts crowds of up to 35,000 people and promises to be a feast for the eyes with its Great British theme.

Spectators will enjoy a 15-minute bonfire animation show, including a replica of a Spitfire plane weighing 150kg, suspended above the flames, complete with spinning propeller.

In the foreground of the bonfire stands a traditional telephone box transformed into an iconic “police box”, while a “sparkling” representation of the crown jewels will also be featured.

British music will accompany the pyrotechnics.

Phil Aitken, production manager for Highlight Pyrotechnics Ltd, who are putting on the show on behalf of Carlisle City Council, insisted they would not be committing treason though.

“The public will not see the crown jewels burning,” he said. “They ‘disappear’ before the bonfire goes up in flames.”

There follows a 20-minute break after the fire is lit, before the fireworks are launched.

Thirteen tonnes of fireworks will light up the sky in time to the musical medley by British artists.

This is the first time Highlight Pyrotechnics Ltd has been in charge of the creative element after winning the Carlisle Fireshow tender.

The company has previously been behind the creative Westlife, Boyzone and McFly shows in Carlisle, as well as producing the Whitehaven Maritime Festival.

Explaining the theme, Mr Aitken said: “We were talking to a lot of people and no one wanted an Olympic-themed show or just a jubilee show, so the best thing to do was embrace everything British.

“If you Google ‘Great Britain’, you come up with a London bus and the Spitfire, and so we decided to use those as iconic symbols.”

The annual event takes place tomorrow, with pre-entertainment beginning at 6.30pm. The bonfire itself will be lit at 7pm.

A charity collection will be held on the night, with all donations going towards the Rotary Club of Carlisle South and the Mayor of Carlisle’s Charity Fund, whose main beneficiaries this year are the Eden House Children’s Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Society. Organisers are asking the Fireshow’s adult spectators to consider giving £1 each.

The council event is organised in conjunction with Highlights Pyrotechnics Ltd. Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service is the sponsor.

Support is also being given by Brampton Skip Hire, Carlisle Scaffolding, Johnstone Leyland Paint, Mini Mobile UK Ltd, Story Group and Wallace Oils.

The Met Office is forecasting light showers for tomorrow evening. Anyone attending the show is advised to wrap up warmly though, as temperatures are predicted to fall to 3C, but could feel as low as minus 2C.

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