Last night I witnessed a great spectacle put on by Leeds City council. It was just above freezing, foggy, windy and damp; what typical conditions for bonfire night. Despite the condition I must have been in a crowd of two or three thousand at Hyde Park last night, all gathered at 6:50 to watch the lighting of the huge bonfire that had been constructed in the middle of the park, followed by what was promised to be a magnificent firework display.
As we walked up to the park from Meanwood, we walked past the town fair that had been brought in for the night, covering a large area and holding host to a good five or six frightful looking rides swinging groups of people 40 feet in the air; the smell of hot food like; chips, burgers, hotdogs, candy floss was all I could smell. There was a very festive feel about the event, venders selling glow sticks and light up toys of all kinds, even we had a few sparklers to play with. It was quite good to see such a large congregation of students and family’s at the park, as the rows of people reached fifty or sixty, deep it became impossible to move.
We were stood strategically right at the front for the count down of the bonfire being set ablaze; just before the city gave the honour of lighting the fire to a young girl, who seemed all too eager to press the novelty shaped plunger which set off a small display of sparkling fireworks on top and inside the bonfire. From then the fire grew huge, the heat literally warmed the park, and twenty foot flames remained the centre piece for 20 minutes before the first of the fireworks shot off. The display was fantastic, popping off all sorts of colours and shaped into the air, lighting up the entire park, gradually the explosions got bigger and bigger as the display built up to a high octane finale. Gigantic fireworks burst in the sky two at a time accompanied by a chorus of smaller but still exciting sparkling fireworks. Blues, Purples, Oranges, Reds, Gold’s and Silvers saw out the spectacle that was applauded by the entire audience; we shouted for an encore to no avail.
The crowds then poured away many going home, but many crossed over Otley road towards the fun fair; ourselves included we got on a ride which was the highlight of the evening; we could see the bonfire dying out from the top of the ride and the outline of Leeds’ city scape.
It was disappointing to see that some people had come out to try and injure people with their own low quality fireworks; at one point a group of kids fired rockets into a crowd of about 500 people; however they were challenged by a group of student and quickly simmered down.
Overall the event was a huge success, bringing together a wide community of students, families and locals, in one of the first festive nights of the year; done properly.
Member since: 31st October 2013
Hi, I'm Oliver, i'm a third year student at Leeds metropolitan studying English. I'm not a huge fan of the university but one profitable aspect has certainly been moving to Leeds. Coming from Manchester...