Bonfire Night River of Light event under fire

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River of Light Bonfire Night event seen from the Wirral. Pic by Vivienne Noonan © JMU Journalism

River of Light Bonfire Night event seen from the Wirral. Pic by Vivienne Noonan © JMU Journalism

Bonfire Night celebrations appeared to be something of a damp squib in Liverpool as thousands attended the council’s highly-publicised ‘River of Light’ event, but many left disappointed.

The riverfront fireworks display was the culmination of an evening’s worth of entertainment across the docks, featuring air displays and drumming parades.

It replaced traditional events at the likes of Sefton and Newsham Park, but the spectacle seems to have left a large number of those who attended somewhat less than thrilled with what they saw.

YouTube: JMU Journalism

Lisa Harris, 29, went along with her two children, aged eight and six. She told JMU Journalism: “It should have been at the park like always, the kids can’t even move here. They’re tired and cold and barely got to see anything.”

Crowds at the docks for the River of Light Bonfire Night event. Pic by Amy Shirtcliffe © JMU Journalism

Crowds at the docks for the River of Light Bonfire Night event. Pic by Amy Shirtcliffe © JMU Journalism

Chris Wilson brought along his three-year-old daughter. The 25-year-old father said: “This is awful. All the stuff online about it made it seem like a massive event but it’s like a pub car park display.”

Lauren Kennett, 21, told JMU Journalism: “We had to shove through the crowd to the front and the fireworks were still really far away. It wasn’t worth the effort at all.”

The immediate social media backlash prompted a response from Claire McColgan, head of Culture Liverpool, who said: “We always welcome feedback on our events, and this shapes our events for next year.”

Twitter poll: What was your verdict on the River of Light Bonfire Night celebrations?