Fireworks show will go ahead at Earlham Park in Norwich despite cancellation of Sparks in the Park

The fireworks at Sparks in the Park at Earlham Park in 2012. Picture: Denise Bradley The fireworks at Sparks in the Park at Earlham Park in 2012. Picture: Denise Bradley

David Freezer david.freezer@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
2:14 PM

Sparks in the Park may have been cancelled but the show will go on at Earlham Park in Norwich next month.

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Norwich City Council announced in January that, despite 16,000 people attending last November’s event, Sparks in the Park was being cancelled.

The council spent £101,000 putting on last year’s Sparks in the Park and, after ticket sales, broke even on the event. The council said it could only put the show on again if it increased ticket prices.

At the same time of the cancellation the council confirmed that it was planning a new free fireworks display from Norwich Castle instead, with the hope of renting out Earlham Park for a commercial display.

The council has got its wish, with The Earlham Park Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza now being advertised for Saturday, November 2.

The new city council event, which has been christened the Big Boom, will be held from 7.30pm on Friday, November 8.

Brenda Arthur, leader of the city council, said: “We’re pleased there’s still going to be a traditional show at Earlham Park. We very much want both events to succeed.

“We were also happy to see that the (online) poll the Evening News ran in January showed that 68pc of readers supported the council’s decision to have a free show in the city centre instead of the council-organised Sparks in the Park.

“The Earlham Park event was put out to tender and this money will help to pay for some of the costs of the free firework show in the city centre.

“The Big Boom fireworks will last for 12 minutes – five minutes longer than the hugely successful and very well received seven-minute firework display that we had for this year’s Lord Mayors Celebration.”

The new Earlham Park event is being organised by the Gray family, who first started the fireworks show in the park nearly 30 years ago.

The event will feature a funfair, food and live music, with gates opening from 4pm ahead of children’s fireworks at 6.30pm and the main display at 9pm.

It is being billed as a ‘strictly no alcohol’ event and tickets will be available on the gate at £7.50 for adults and £4.50 for under-14s. There are also advanced discounts, see the event’s Facebook page for details.

For photos of both Sparks in the Park 2012 and the Lord Mayor’s Celebrations 2013 fireworks from Norwich Castle, see the galleries at the top-right of this page.

Related stories

Loss of Sparks in the Park fireworks display described as “a blow to the prestige” of Norwich

Poll - end of an era or good news? Annual Sparks in the Park fireworks display brought to an end and new Norwich Castle show is planned

Photo gallery: Norwich Sparks in the Park 2012

Video and Photo Gallery: Spectacular fireworks show at Lord Mayor’s Celebration in Norwich

14 comments

  • As if it's not bad enough having one evening of loud bangs and explosions we are to be treated to two evenings of noise (that's without any others). One evening of loud bangs is enough, (distressing for pets) without having two.

    Report this comment

    smithy

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • che bramley, £8k was the fee for hiring Earlham Park for the day.I can't see the new organisers going through all the expense the council used to ie elf and safety,fencing and security...bunk in will be the norm.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

  • Maybe the new event is being funded by the money Norwich City Council received from Babycow Productions from the venues used for the film Alpha Papa, although we still do not know the true figure NCC got, despite a FOI request. This says to me the leaders of our Council have something to hide, but then this is nothing new for the shambles of a Labour Council. Two Events at a time where people cannot afford to keep warm or put food on the table, still if NCC can fool people then what does it care ? It claims the Earlham Park event will help pay for the free one, really. I hope the Council will be open and public the figures raised from the Earlham Event before the free one, then release the sum it claims was spent on the free one. Now if the Council claims it is open about its practices it will exactly do that !

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • damn the council for organising something that the majority of the populace supported. If only they visited these pages and saw the same 12 people offering such inciteful yet invective bile, they wouldnt go around wasting money on events that draw a huge amount of people into the city, get people spending cash, and generate news coverage therefore increasing awareness of this fine city. I suppose the UNESCO City of Literature designation this city has earned will, in your eyes, cause no end of problems for the folk of Norwich? Damn the council for actually trying to achieve things that maintain our status as one of the top ten city destinations for most things. If ony it rained more, you'd be happier (although if it did rain more, the council would be at fault for not fulfilling its sunshine quota at cost to the public)

    Report this comment

    Teddylegless

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • have any of you moaners actually been to any of the events the council have put on in recently? the last lord mayors was brilliant, the best procession ive seen for years! so much going on now, rather than just some pants tribute band in chapelfield grdns, the whole city centre has acts and activities. the john peel archive were brilliant in chapelfield, playing some classics. the torch relay in 2012 was brilliant as well, with so much extra stuff organised instead of just a boring march through the city, like lots of other councils did. i think over the last 2 years the events and whole organisation has got much better, with some excellent content

    Report this comment

    Vale Hernandez

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • damn the council for organising something that the majority of the populace supported. If only they visited these pages and saw the same 12 people offering such inciteful yet invective bile, they wouldnt go around wasting money on events that draw a huge amount of people into the city, get people spending cash, and generate news coverage therefore increasing awareness of this fine city. I suppose the UNESCO City of Literature designation this city has earned will, in your eyes, cause no end of problems for the folk of Norwich? Damn the council for actually trying to achieve things that maintain our status as one of the top ten city destinations for most things. If ony it rained more, you'd be happier (although if it did rain more, the council would be at fault for not fulfilling its sunshine quota at cost to the public)

    Report this comment

    Teddylegless

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • The City Council should leave events to the private sector.I wonder what the overall cost is to the tax payer of the council events programme.Thr council need to govern and not be promoters!

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • "after ticket sales, broke even on the event." Hmmmm, really? Was the cost of all the council staff taken into account I wonder or was this 'lost' in the over head costs? How did the events team at the city council account for their time and costs I wonder? I suspect if the truth was known it cost the council tax payer a small fortune to arrange this. I would love someone at the council to explain why they think they need to get involved with commercial events.

    Report this comment

    Carol Barnes

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • If the council can't afford to run sparks in the park without increasing ticket prices, how can they afford a similar event without charging at all?

    Report this comment

    Rachel Gibbons

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

  • damn the council for organising something that the majority of the populace supported. If only they visited these pages and saw the same 12 people offering such inciteful yet invective bile, they wouldnt go around wasting money on events that draw a huge amount of people into the city, get people spending cash, and generate news coverage therefore increasing awareness of this fine city. I suppose the UNESCO City of Literature designation this city has earned will, in your eyes, cause no end of problems for the folk of Norwich? Damn the council for actually trying to achieve things that maintain our status as one of the top ten city destinations for most things. If ony it rained more, you'd be happier (although if it did rain more, the council would be at fault for not fulfilling its sunshine quota at cost to the public)

    Report this comment

    Teddylegless

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • I always thought bonfire night was 5th of November, why is NCC wait until the 8th for a city display?

    Report this comment

    Yellow Fox

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • On the contrary when I was a child we had fireworks which we let off in the garden, along with sparklers which we held. We had the fun. The fireworks of today just compete with each other to be the noisiest and frankly when you've seen one you've seen the lot. It must be mindnumbingly boring to sit through what are basically all the same.

    Report this comment

    smithy

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • "after ticket sales, broke even on the event." Hmmmm, really? Was the cost of all the council staff taken into account I wonder or was this 'lost' in the over head costs? How did the events team at the city council account for their time and costs I wonder? I suspect if the truth was known it cost the council tax payer a small fortune to arrange this. I would love someone at the council to explain why they think they need to get involved with commercial events.

    Report this comment

    Carol Barnes

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  • Poor old Smithy, you must have really hated being a child. Did you ever pull a Christmas cracker, or where you afraid of the bang. Baa humbug. Oh it's Halloween soon, tape up your door knocker, or you might fall out of your rocking chair. knock Knock.

    Report this comment

    getreal

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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