WITH a whizz and a screech the city’s sky was filled with sparkles last night at Portsmouth’s biggest free firework display.
Around 10,000 people went to the King George V Playing Fields, in Cosham, to watch the display and were wowed by soaring rockets and exploding mortars.
There was also a large bonfire at the event organised by Portsmouth City Council, which was lit by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Cheryl Buggy.
Milly Stiles, seven, of Glidden Close, Landport, said: ‘The fireworks were very nice and colourful. I liked the ones that popped up and made a big bang.’
Her friend Talia Parnell, six, of Grove Road North, Southsea, added: ‘I liked the wiggly ones that sizzled. We came here last year too but this year was better because there were more fireworks.’
There was also an on-stage performance from Lady Gaga impersonator Charlotte Hopley and Wave 105 broadcast live from the event.
Joey McAllister, seven, of Fratton Road, Fratton, said: ‘The bonfire was really impressive. The flames were so tall.
‘It looked like I could touch the top of them from far away, but I knew I couldn’t if I was closer.
‘And the fireworks were amazing – there were lots of my favourite colours in them.’
The display was fired without music to allow the full effect of the fireworks’ noises to be appreciated.
Marrie Clements, 24, of Beaulieu Road, North End, said: ‘It was a really good display – the best one I’ve seen for years.
‘I usually go up on Portsdown Hill to watch the fireworks but it’s much better down here because there’s such a good atmosphere.’
The fireworks cost the council £6,300 and the total cost of the event was £27,000.
Organiser Heather Todd, the council’s assistant events manager, said it was money well worth spending.
‘It’s a great family event which people really like,’ she said.
‘It looked like people were having a lot of fun and enjoyed the evening, which is exactly what we want.
‘We were expecting a good turnout and that’s what we got – it’s always been a very popular event.’