Excitement and anticipation filled Bitts Park as thousands of people gathered for Carlisle's spectacular 30th anniversary fireshow.

Families and friends watched in amazement tonight as the bonfire - a giant, colourful box of fireworks - went up in flames. As it burned each of the huge fireworks inside exploded.

They were then treated to a spectacular firework display which threw 2,000 bursts of light into the night's sky for as long as 20 minutes.

A 25ft Guy Fawkes and a 12ft girl puppet were also part of the impressive event and there was huge Catherine Wheel next to the bonfire.

Erin Shaw and Jenny Overends, both 15 and from Keswick, were pleased to have got themselves a prime view in the front row and were impressed by the theatrical show.

Jenny said: "I haven't been at the front before. It was really good. We didn't realise it was going to be such a big thing."

Erin said: "We thought it was just going to be fireworks.

"It was really warm, which was nice."

Colin Glover, leader of Carlisle City Council which has organised the annual event since 1987, the said: “As ever the Fireshow was a great success and attracted a huge crowd.

"The 30th anniversary bonfire and fireworks display were as impressive as ever.

"Thanks to the production team and volunteers who made sure the event was a safe and spectacular night.

"Thanks also to all those who attended and gave generously to local charities.”

In previous years the bonfire has taken the shape of a clown's face, a haunted house and a train.

This year a giant box of fireworks, each complete with their own colourful wrapper, was created by Merlin Fireworks in collaboration with the city council.

Designer Gavin Lewery said they wanted to make it something celebratory but not do the "obvious" birthday cake.

"I thought let's do a show about the history of fireworks and where it started," he said.