Edinburgh prepares for dazzling Bonfire Night

Revellers can enjoy a dazzling number of firework displays in Edinburgh. Picture: Getty

Revellers can enjoy a dazzling number of firework displays in Edinburgh. Picture: Getty

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IF there’s one thing that Edinburgh could not live without, it’s a good fireworks display.

Be it Hogmanay, end of Festival season, or one of the numerous cultural events held in the Capital throughout the year, there’s always an abundance of displays on offer.

So of course the skies will be spectacularly alight from now until the most important fireworks date in the calendar – November 5.

A number of organised displays will take place across the region, while local communities will also be joining forces to stage their own events.

The big one in Edinburgh is of course the display at Meadowbank Stadium, which attracts around 5000 spectators each year.

The theme for this year is superheroes, and members of the public are – for the first time – being encouraged to dress up for the event.

This year 12,000 fireworks will illuminate the skies to the dramatic background music of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and The Incredibles.

Emma Ogilvie-Hall, events manager at Meadowbank, says: “The event sells out every year. I think it’s so popular because it’s a safe environment where people know they’re going to get a great show. Edinburgh has great fireworks displays throughout the year, and this is no exception. We do like our fireworks!”

The spectacular display at Meadowbank will be held on Bonfire Night itself – Tuesday – with 12 days of preparations put into setting it up beforehand.

This year, the lucky youngster who will get to start off the whole show will be selected on the night as part of the event’s fancy dress competition.

Those who turn up in the best superhero costumes will be picked out by staff and asked to join MC Big Al on the stadium’s running track.

The overall winner of the fancy dress competition will get to press the button which kick-starts the display.

Emma says: “What we wanted from a theme was to encourage audience participation, so we came up with the idea of a superhero theme.

“We are encouraging people to come in fancy dress just so we can get more people involved.

“It will be great to see how many people come along in fancy dress and take up the idea.

“We expect it to be mostly kids, but we’re also encouraging adults and parents to get involved in the fancy dress element, too.”

Other official displays will be held in the run-up to November 5, including the “extravaganza” at George Watson’s rugby stadium tomorrow.

This year there are two fireworks displays to keep up with demand. Both shows feature a full programme of entertainment, including pipes and drums and fire dancers.

Scottish Love in Action is hosting the event to help raise funds to feed, clothe, house, educate and provide medical care for more than 500 vulnerable and once-destitute children in India.

The first show starts at 4.30pm, with the second starting at 7.30pm.

For a more spontaneous evening, head to Portobello Promenade where Guy Fawkes Night provides the perfect opportunity for local people to create their own bonfires on the beach.

Portobello resident and community council member Bob Jefferson says: “It’s not an organised event, it’s just something that happens naturally.

“If you live in Portobello, you tend to gravitate towards the prom.

“There are lots of families going along and it’s a fairly safe environment to let fireworks off.”

Outwith Edinburgh, Hopetoun House will be putting on its fireworks display tonight from 6.30pm. The evening also features a full programme of entertainment, including fire jugglers and a samba band.

Also tonight is the Haddington display, while Aberlady will host its event tomorrow night.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to stay safe by attending organised events only.

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, director of ­prevention and protection, says: “We want everyone to enjoy 
the celebrations and I would urge the public to join ­Scotland’s fight against fire and attend official bonfire events this year.”