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Estimated 35,000 people attend Carlisle fireshow

A big top featuring animals and clowns jumping through hoops, acrobats on trapezes, weightlifters and puppets helped Carlisle’s annual fireshow go with a bang.

The 40ft Big Top bonfire in Bitts Park helped attract about 35,000 people to Saturday night’s event with many watching from the castle defences and Stanwix Bank.

People travelled from far and wide to enjoy the colourful display, which has been an annual fixture since 1987.

CFM DJ Robbie Dee and Jonathan Higgins, events manager at the Sands Centre in Carlisle, warmed up the crowd before a countdown to the fire being lit.

They also read out messages and sent a fond farewell to Carlisle City Council’s community support manager, Rob Burns, who has helped organise the bonfire in the city for the last 24 years.

Explosions of colour filled the skies as fireworks were let off to accompanying themed music including Nellie the Elephant and Tears of a Clown.

Gill Burns, Carlisle City Council’s community events manager, was delighted with the turnout, after a few days of wet weather.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We had perfect conditions on the night and the crowd were fantastic. It’s always difficult to say exactly how many people were there but I would say there were more than 35,000 which is just spectacular.

“There were no major incidents and everyone seemed to have a good time.

“The police and fire are happy because everyone is in a safe place and it cuts down on the amount of rogue bonfires."

The bonfire followed a day of fun in the city centre from puppeteer John Parkinson from the Upfront Gallery, clowns, stilt walkers and other circus performers.

The fireshow in Carlisle, which lasted more than an hour, has been named as one of the top 10 fireshows in the UK by The Times.

Admission was free but collections was made for the mayor’s charity fund and Rotary Club Carlisle (South).

Send us your photos of the fireshow and we'll add them to the slideshow. You can send them here.

Different photos in today's News & Star

Have your say

Levi, I cant agree more.
i go to the fireshow every year with my friends, and my young cousins, and my friends siblings/cousins. Its something we all look forwards too, and we all really enjoy! if you dont like it, find somewhere else to go for the evening! It's one of the few times when we can all just go and have a laugh. It's an amazing fireshow, tops every other one I've seen BY FAR. Carlisle is the only city in cumbria, and isnt even that big. Shouldnt we just be glad that we have this, and appreciate it- rather than looking for something better?

Posted by Kat on 10 January 2011 at 23:44

Can't believe there is still a big debate on this fire show. Have we forgotten that it is one of the Top 10 fireshows in the Country?. It puts our little city on the map for providing a good Family event. And whats more..our council also thinks of the before and after events, such as street entertainers. Its events like these that make our City and County recognised world-wide and, more importantly, within the government, where funding is allocated. Remember that. I have to say I am proud to be from carlisle, and regularly have something forward to look forward to in this great City, and all thanks to the council.

I can't understand how some people can complain about something as..traditional..as the Carlisle Fire Show. My only complaint is the amount of Chavs that seem to emerge on the night. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about that. Its a free country, aparantly.

I really have to blame all you moaners for Carlisle losing its bid to become the first City Of Culture. If it was your way, it would be all work and no play. We would all live in a great depression. You have all mentioned the fact that it costs a great deal. Yes..to to the sponsers. But the event gives hard-up families something to go to, as a family, without having to spend a thing. Surely this means so much more than anything else?.

Posted by Levi on 16 November 2010 at 10:43

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