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Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular is axed for 2023

The Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular. Image by Robin Zahler

The Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular traditionally watched by thousands of people across the District has been axed for 2023.

The Saturday night display launched from the grounds of Lancaster Castle will not take place this November, Lancaster City Council has announced. 

Instead, the Light Up Lancaster light festival has been extended to three days instead of two - taking place from November 2 to 4. 

A leading councillor said the cost of the fireworks display was "difficult to justify".

“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," said Councillor Catherine Potter, Lancaster City Council cabinet member with responsibility for tourism (pictured below).

“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."

The Fireworks Spectacular pulled huge crowds to Lancaster Castle for many years and people could watch them launch from next to the Castle itself.

In recent times, the event has been part of Light Up Lancaster.

While the fireworks have still been launched from the Castle, in recent years crowds have watched the display from specific viewing areas or locations across the local area. 

Last year Light Up Lancaster, which has been running since 2013, attracted 58,000 people over two nights.

“We’re confident 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," said Councillor Potter.

Here is one of the light installations at last year's Light Up Lancaster.

The event has been extended after funding from Arts Council England (ACE), Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID and a number of other funders.

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 other sites across the city centre.

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

The event is being delivered and managed by Lancaster BID, imitating the dog, The Dukes and Mirador with support from Lancaster City Council

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