The River of Light returns 

BOTH sides of the River Mersey will be lit up by fireworks on Sunday 4 November with a specially commissioned musical display in Liverpool and Wirral.

River of Light: The Elements in association with Royal Liver Building 360 will see the return of Titanium Fireworks, who wowed crowds last year with a jaw dropping display. They are the team behind acclaimed national events including the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve party, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the launch of Hull’s City of Culture year and the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the waterfront in Liverpool and New Brighton for the free spectacle, which will act as the finale for the China Dream season, part of the city’s 2018 cultural programme. It is also the final major event for the Imagine Wirral year of culture, creativity and ideas.

Fireworks will be set off from the water’s edge and huge barges floating on the Mersey, and will be accompanied by a soundtrack played from key areas and venues along the waterfront.

In Liverpool, there will be a series of arts installations themed around the five elements that underpin Chinese philosophy: water, fire, earth, metal and wood.

In Wirral, the event will be held in New Brighton with entertainment for all the family including the appearance of ghostly pirates on the Black Pearl.

People are advised to attend from 5pm before the fireworks start at 6.30pm.

Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We are delighted to be once again working with Titanium, who have an unsurpassed reputation and brought the wow-factor to the waterfront last year.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the 2017 spectacle, so in true Liverpool style we are building on this and bringing in some new surprises.

“The team are working hard to pull together a fantastic, free, family friendly evening out, showcasing the very best of our world heritage waterfront as one of the final events in our Liverpool 2018 programme marking 10 years since we were European Capital of Culture.”

Wirral Council leader, Councillor Phil Davies, said: “We are thrilled that River of Light is returning following the success of last year’s event.

“These spectacular displays on both sides of the River are becoming a firm highlight of our annual programme and shine a light on our beautiful waterfronts.

“With family-friendly entertainment on offer in the build-up to the dazzling fireworks display, it will be an amazing experience for the thousands of residents and visitors who will come to enjoy the show.

“It has been an incredible year for events like this in Wirral as part of our Imagine Wirral year of culture, creativity and ideas. River of Light will set the scene for another great year in 2019 as we become Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture.”

Sue Grindrod, chief executive of Royal Albert Dock Liverpool and chair of Liverpool Waterfront Business Partnership, said: “River of Light is a fantastic event for Liverpool and judging by last year’s hugely successful spectacular, audiences are yet again in for a visual treat this autumn.

“Not only does it attract tens of thousands of people to the city, it’s a wonderful opportunity to show off the Dock and our incredible UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront to audiences across the world.”

Figures from 2017 show around 90,000 people enjoyed the display on both sides of the river, generating a £4 million boost for the economy.

More information on the event, and the best vantage points to see the fireworks and enjoy the street entertainment, will be added to the River of Light website soon, so don’t forget to head back to www.riveroflightfireworks.co.uk or join in the conversation on Culture Liverpool’s Facebook and Twitter social, and Imagine Wirral on Twitter.

The River of Light is sponsored by Royal Liver Building 360, a new tourist attraction being delivered by Heritage Great Britain planned for the Royal Liver Building, set to open next year.

Liverpool’s annual fireworks display moved to the waterfront in 2016 to reach a larger audience and have more of an impact on the local economy.