The National Fireworks Championships in Plymouth, UK, has to be one of the best free to watch events in the country. Over two nights, six teams compete with some huge displays for the accolade of being the UK’s number one fireworks display company.
This year’s event is being held on Tuesday 16th August and Wednesday 17th August 2011. The displays are fired from a concrete jetty sticking out from a place called Mountbatten Point and the best spectator areas are opposite this in Plymouth; a grassy hill in front of the Citadel is my personal favourite but get there early!
The grassy slopes mentioned above are ideal to watch from, these are on the seaward side of the Citadel which is hard to miss. This area is also known as “The Hoe”. Right at the front of the bottom slopes is a good road and if you get there early enough you can get both a flat surface to stand on and right up against the sea wall too, ensuring you have no-one obscuring your view. But when I say “early” I really do mean early evening, before the sun sets.
There are usually three teams firing on each night with displays of around 10 minutes each. Judges watch from a boat in the sea between the fireworks and spectators. Boat trips are available however if you have a camera you’ll need steady ground.
The 2011 firing order is:
Tuesday 16th August 2011
Skyburst The Firework Company
Wednesday 17th August 2011
Do take warm clothes and some food and drink. No matter how warm it feels during the day it can get very cold when darkness falls. Plymouth is well situated to throw the very worst of Atlantic wind and rain at you. Food and drink is essential if you want to maintain your spot but there are plenty of burger vans around and quite often a fun fair too.
The size of the event means it is well catered for with internet photos and video, here on UKFR there are a number of features if you want to take a look behind the scenes or watch some video:
Plymouth 2006 – Jubilee
Plymouth 2006 – MLE Pyrotechnics
Plymouth 2006 – Northern Lights
Plymouth 2006 – Alan Hillary Pyrotechnics
Plymouth 2006 – Shellscape Pyrotechnics
Plymouth 2006 – Pyro 1
Plymouth 2006 – Fantastic Fireworks
Plymouth 2006 – Happy Dragon
(There were four teams per night in 2006 as it was a “Champion of Champions” event)
Plymouth 2006 – World Record Rocket Attempt