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The Festival Fireworks
Viewing the fireworks

Sunday 1 September 2013

FireworksThe end of the Edinburgh International Festival is marked by the world-famous festival firework concert, when - to a live orchestral accompaniment - upwards of 100,000 pyrotechnics go up in the air in an intense, magnificent 45-minute show.  The very last event of the festival season, and a week after the Fringe has packed up its bags and gone home, the fireworks are very much a local affair; a reward for the city of Edinburgh for playing host for another year.

The inevitable concerns about pets aside, the concert is a beloved city institution, and makes a spectacular final treat for the few visitors prepared to stay the whole course.  Despite the refinement of the classical music, there's little subtle about the firework display: crescendo builds upon crescendo towards an impossible, light-drenched finale. For true firework connoisseurs, though, there's usually a surprise or two; rockets exploding in the shape of red hearts wowed crowds one year.

Edinburgh's dramatic skyline is well-used as well, and light shows at the castle fill the brief intervals between the bangs.  The orchestra, bravely ignoring the mayhem around them, plays in the bandstand at Princes Street Gardens, while the fireworks are launched from the castle above. The display starts as the sun sets, and brings the curtain down on the Festival a little before 10pm.

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