Fireworks extravaganza

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The Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular is this Saturday (November 3) and this year the dazzling display will be launched from the castle roof itself.

Huge crowds are expected for the annual event, which will start at 8pm.

Onlookers at the main viewing areas are advised to get into position by 7.30pm at the latest. They are at Quay Meadow and Giant Axe football club where a free wristband system has been introduced for entry.

The 6,500 wristbands allocated to these sites have already been issued but there are three other official viewing areas where passes are not required.

They are:

* Salt Ayre, where more than 2,500 people enjoyed the spectacular view across the River Lune last year. Visitors will also be able to enjoy free parking, hot food and drink, and Taylor’s Funfair.

* The cycle path alongside the River Lune (opposite St George’s Quay).

* Williamson Park

The celebrations kick off on Friday with an event called ‘Light Up Lancaster’.

You can stroll through and discover by night the historic squares and hidden alleyways of the city through illuminating performances of music, art and dance.

Light Up Lancaster runs between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Collect your guide to all the events in Dalton Square from 7.15pm on the night.

Dalton Square itself will be just one of the city centre outdoor venues lit up for the occasion thanks to fire poi performers and More Music’s illuminated instrumental Bell Tower.

Market Square will feature giant lanterns and the latest exhibition at the City Museum – Recuerdos De Mexico by Melling-based artists Sue and Pete Flowers - will be turned inside out as images are projected on to the historic building. The Northern Lights Orchestra will provide live music.

In nearby Marketgate, a Chinese ensemble orchestra lit by Chinese lanterns will play.

Sun Square will become the setting for the screening of a dance film produced by Ludus Dance and a specially commissioned film by Lancaster-based theatre company Imitating the Dog will be projected on to the Music Room café.

Also during the evening, there will be dance flashmobs appearing across the city and the windows of some empty shops will be transformed to recreate stories from Lancaster’s past.

On Saturday daytime, the city centre will see a programme of guided walks and tours, storytelling, arts and crafts as well as entertainment from Lancaster’s very own samba band - Batala. The city’s museums will also host lantern making workshops. To book a place at the Maritime Museum call 01524 382264.

All those registered to view the fireworks from Quay Meadow and the Giant Axe should receive their wristbands in the next few days. It should be noted that all those viewing the display from Quay Meadow and the Giant Axe must arrive at these locations no later than 7.30pm.

Please remember that alcohol and fireworks (including sparklers) cannot be brought to the five official viewing areas. As in previous years, the castle and priory precinct will be closed during the display.