Safety in numbers at Inverness Bonfire and Fireworks

An estimated crowd of 18,000 attended The Highland Council's Bonfire and Fireworks Display in Bught Park last night.

Most revellers heeded advance warnings by event organisers to leave cars at home and walked to the event with many following the Royal British Legion Pipe Bands of Inverness and Dingwall, and the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band as they paraded along Ness Walk and Bught Road.

Provost of Inverness and Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael lit the giant 50 foot high bonfire which featured a giant Guy made by pupils at Balloch Primary School, she said: “What a fantastic turn out from people in Inverness and further afield. The public support for this Inverness Common Good Funded event full reinforces the City of Inverness Area Committee’s support for the Inverness Events and Festival’s programme, of which this is a major event in its calendar.”

The crowd were treated to a spectacular 20 minute show by the award winning Fireworks Scotland display team which was accompanied by music.

In the run up to bonfire night, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had appealed to the public to choose to attend organised events rather than do-it-yourself fireworks displays or illegal bonfires.

Inverness Station Manager Deryck Mackay said: “Everyone who chose to attend the organised event this year played their part in helping to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Thankfully the night passed without any serious incident.”

Councillor Glynis Sinclair, Chair of the Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group said: “This was the best Bonfire Night we have ever had. I am delighted that the public turned out in their thousands and that the evening went without incident or injury. Public safety is first and foremost the main reason why we organise this event.

“By holding a main bonfire event for Inverness we are discouraging smaller bonfires and firework events taking place across the area and we have the full support of the emergency services for this public safety approach.”

She added: “The increase in numbers of people attending the bonfire and recent Halloween event demonstrate the huge demand and appreciation that there is from the public wishing to celebrate the seasonal events of the Inverness Events and Festivals Programme.”

Other partners Police Scotland and NHS Highland reported a quiet evening for emergency response teams.

Sergeant Hector MacDonald said: “Last night saw a low number of firework-related incidents across the Inverness area, which I have no doubt is in part due to the civic bonfire and fireworks display, organised by The Highland Council with assistance from partner agencies.

“A number of officers carried out high-visibility patrols at the event, and also in the surrounding areas. The atmosphere on the night was one of safety and good spirits and as we head towards the festive season, we hope that this continues.”

Jane Campbell, Service Manager for the Emergency Department at Raigmore Hospital, said: "In terms of bonfire night related injuries it was a quiet night in the Emergency Department. We had one minor injury but thankfully there will be no lasting damage."

Winners of the guy making competion Balloch Primary School Head Teacher Karen Ross said: "Staff and pupils were present at the event and delighted to see our guy on top of the bonfire.  We are still talking about it today!  It was a fantastic activity taking part in the competition, every single P1 – 3 was involved.  They worked in teams and were delighted when the guy from one of our teams was announced as the winner.  This is something we would encourage all schools to take part in.

For further details of the Inverness Festivals programme visit their website at:   http://invernessfestivals.com/winter08/events_directory.php

6 Nov 2015
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