Fireworks go off with a bang

Deputy News Editor 6 November 2008

The Cambridge City Council annual Guy Fawkes Night celebration lit the skies above Midsummer Common last night to mark the anniversary of the 5th November plot to blow up parliament in 1605.

Despite a lack of sponsorship, the Council held a fun fair for the whole evening and put on a firework display at 7.30pm. The display was expected to attract a crowd of 25,000 people, who were asked to make a voluntary contribution of “at least £1 per person.”

Despite a light drizzle on the evening of the event, turnout was high – though estimates of numbers who attended are not yet available.

The organisers explained that donations were needed to “create such a superb public display of this scale”, as it wasn’t “the kind of thing you could put on in your back garden.” One more cynical student, however, said “it’s good because you’re not forced to pay.”

Otherwise, the display met with approval from many of the students who went to watch.

Pembroke 2nd year Tessa Montague said that: “The heart-shaped fireworks were amazing.”

Another student, also from Pembroke, called them “incandescently sparkly.”

Charlie Keenan, from Homerton, had his own reasons for thinking that the fireworks were “better than last year”. He said: “I’m a lot more sober this year.”

Another student was slightly less impressed: “They were alright, but I don’t think they were as good as St John’s May Ball!”

At a few points during the display, sparks literally flew. Some observers got close enough to see the sparks from the lit fireworks falling to the ground near them – though none were in danger or hurt as a result.

Despite fears of funding shortfalls, the event organisers remained confident the night would be a success.

The future of the event nonetheless remains in doubt, as the Council will not know until after they have collected all the donations whether or not the event remains financially viable.

Shane Murray

Deputy News Editor