Preparations are underway for Carlisle's Bitts Park Fireshow, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend on Saturday 4 November.

Carlisle City Council staff, local volunteers and firework experts are working to set the fireworks scene and build the event's bonfire.

This year's centrepiece of the 30 foot bonfire will be a giant box of fireworks, themed on the last three decades.

The firework display will follow the bonfire, including 2,000 sparklers and giant a Catherine Wheel.

More than 35,000 people are expected to attend the City Council event, which is organised alongside Merlin Fireworks Ltd.

The portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, said:

This year’s Fireshow will be a celebration of the 30 years of the sparkling community event. As well as a 30 foot bonfire, there will be thousands of fireworks and a giant Catherine Wheel. It’s a must-see event not to be missed.”

Cllr Anne Quilter, Carlisle City Council
Last year's bonfire steam train centrepiece Credit: ITV Border

Visitors are asked to note that smoke, noise, embers and muddy grounds are inevitable at the event, and to wear warm clothing and suitable footwear.

Fireshow Facts:

  • Carlisle Fireshow began in 1987 as a community event designed to bring local families together for a fun night out in a safe environment. Around 200 people were expected to attend the first event however it attracted a 2,000 strong crowd.

  • The 1987 Fireshow was held on October 31st.

  • In 1990 there were four bonfires. A giant bonfire now forms the centrepiece of each event.

  • Up until 1994, the fireworks for the Fireshow were released from inside the grounds of Carlisle Castle keep and battlements.

  • The Carlisle Fireshow has developed in to one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK, attracting a 35,000 strong crowd each year and is listed in The Times Top 10 bonfire list.

  • Admission to the event is free but a collection is made for the Mayor’s Charity Fund and the Rotary Club Carlisle (South).