Lancaster's spectacular fireworks display axed from this year's Light Festival line-up

Fireworks will not light up the skies around Lancaster for Bonfire Night this year.
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The popular Light Up Lancaster festival which has been enjoyed by thousands since 2013 will not culminate in a spectacular fireworks display in 2023.

The festival will though be extended to three days thanks to funding from Arts Council England (ACE), Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID and a number of other funders.

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Coun Catherine Potter, cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, said: “We know that some people will be disappointed that there will be no fireworks this year but with them being heavily dependent on good weather, there is no guarantee that they would take place and would have to be cancelled at the last minute, as has been the case in the past.

The fireworks spectacular was always a finale for Light Up Lancaster. Picture by Robin Zahler.The fireworks spectacular was always a finale for Light Up Lancaster. Picture by Robin Zahler.
The fireworks spectacular was always a finale for Light Up Lancaster. Picture by Robin Zahler.

“At £35,000 for a 17-minute display, the cost is difficult to justify and we also know that people are increasingly questioning the environmental impact of fireworks, and the effect they have on domestic pets and wildlife.

“We’re confident however that the extra evening will more than make up for it by showcasing just how local art and culture can be used to illuminate Lancaster’s history and heritage.”

Light Up Lancaster invites visitors to stroll through the city’s streets and squares to celebrate its heritage through light art installations and illuminating performances of music, art and dance.

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Due to its increasing popularity, the usual two-day festival will now be across three days this year, taking place from November 2-4.

Plans for the festival are being finalised but highlights already include a stunning projection installation in the castle which will reveal the unique history of The Great Cowcher – an illuminated 15th century document which has been referred to as the Duchy of Lancaster equivalent of the Domesday Book.

Events are also in the pipeline for Market Square, Dalton Square and a host of sites across the city centre.

Light Up Lancaster will run each night from 5pm-9pm – almost double the hours from last year.

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While additional investment has been secured so an extra evening can be added to the event, the fireworks element of the festival – which usually takes place on the Saturday evening – has this year been removed from the programme.

Coun Potter added: “Light up Lancaster is an increasingly popular event and I’m excited that it will now be taking place over an extra night in 2023.

“Last year the festival attracted 58,000 people over two nights and we’re expecting even more this year. By adding an extra date the whole magical experience will remain a relaxed and comfortable one, particularly for families with young children.”