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The Festival Fireworks - Viewing the fireworks
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The Festival Fireworks
Viewing the fireworks

Viewing the fireworks

The end-of-festival fireworks, though an institution in themselves, are formally a part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Tickets for the bandstand seating and surrounding gardens are released for sale in batches - see "Also on FringeGuru", below, for full details. The very best views of the fireworks are from the ticketed areas, and it's well worth the price of a ticket if you can get your hands on one - but most of the quarter of a million people who watch each year are viewing for free, from a street or hillside across the city.

The centre of Edinburgh is closed off for the occasion, and crowds form along Princes Street and the Mound; while the crowd is invariably well-behaved, it's a definite crush and the very centre of town is not for the faint-hearted. For a good view combined with decent elbow-room, the best places to go are the North Bridge - which is closed to traffic that night - or, if you're slightly more energetic, the top of Calton Hill. Both sites are at the east end of Princes Street, and offer good views of both the aerial fireworks and the spectacular "waterfall of fire" which is traditionally unleashed on the castle rock at some point during the show.

Further afield, a family viewing area is laid on in Inverleith Park, near the botanic gardens - which, though more distant from the action, benefits from a video link-up to the bandstand. To be honest, you'll get a decent view from anywhere in the city where you can see the castle, although you'll miss many of the lower-level effects if you're viewing from the southern side.

The display is impressive enough by itself, but the real point of the show is the synchronization with the music. If you're out on the streets or in the parks, take a portable radio with you to listen along. The broadcast is usually on Radio Forth One, on 97.3 FM; check for confirmed details nearer the time.

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