50 seconds of firework fame proves enough for ‘low-key’ Oban
THE town was rechristened “Obang” and catapulted into the international media spotlight after hosting one of the greatest pyrotechnic shows on Earth.
But sparks are flying in Oban after residents learned there will not be a fireworks display at the town’s community bonfire tomorrow night.
There had been high expectations for this year’s annual show, after the spectacular display of 2011 in which £6,000 of fireworks all went off at once in a 50 -second extravaganza.
But Louise Glen-Lee, Argyll and Bute Council’s lead councillor for Oban, said: “We could never compete with what we did last year, so we are having a low-key community bonfire.
“We will be having a fancy dress competition, a turnip carving competition and we will be giving out glowsticks.”
She added: “There’s nothing like a community event – and a good bonfire – to warm the cockles of your heart. This promises to be a fantastic family event and I hope that children of all ages and sizes in the Oban and Lorn area are looking forward to a great evening.”
People are being asked not to bring their own fireworks to the bonfire at Mossfield Park, and Ms Glen-Lee said the community would be able to see an organised display at Oban’s Winter Festival, later this month.
But mother-of-two Gemma Forgrieve, of Dunollie, Oban, said: “There are a lot of disappointed people in Oban. People aren’t happy about this. The kids look forward to the fireworks so much. I think the bonfire will be a washout.
“My three-year-old daughter has been looking forward to the fireworks. She is going to be so disappointed. We will maybe get some sparklers in the garden, but it won’t be the same. I can only remember there not being a community fireworks display in Oban once before.”
Susan Johnston, of Creag Bhan Village, Oban, said her five-year-old granddaughter had also been looking forward to seeing a fireworks display: “Fireworks and bonfire night go together. This is when we want a fireworks display.
“Look at the publicity we got last year – Oban was talked about everywhere. But people here would have been satisfied with just a small fireworks display for the kids. You can get glow sticks anywhere – you go to a bonfire to see organised fireworks. It’s crazy. A lot of people won’t go if it’s just a bonfire.”
Argyll and Bute Council Leader Roddy McCuish, who is on the Oban Fireworks Committee, said: “I am fully sympathetic with the views I am hearing. I understand people’s concerns. I am assured there will be a fireworks display at the winter festival and I am also told there will be a bonfire at Mossfield Stadium, but I think that if people really want fireworks in Oban for Bonfire Night we have to look at that for next year.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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