One of Scotland’s largest annual fireworks displays has been brought forward a day to avoid a potential clash with a crucial European football game.
The traditional Guy Fawkes night celebrations at Glasgow Green will be held on 4 November this year to avert congestion in and around the east end of the city. With Celtic due to play host to Norwegian side Molde on 5 November, as part of their Europa League campaign, authorities in the city and Police Scotland decided to rearrange the date of the fireworks display.
Around 50,000 people flock every year to the green to see the fireworks show, but with the same number expected at nearby Celtic Park, Lord Provost Sadie Docherty authorised the switch.
Although the majority of evening football fixtures kick off at around 8pm, Celtic’s home tie is scheduled for 6pm, meaning that vast crowds would be travelling towards the east end of the city at the same time. The draw for Celtic’s home and away ties in the European competition was announced at the end of August.
Ms Docherty said the decision to bring the fireworks show forward had been taken for “safety reasons” but promised that the display, one of the most popular in the UK, would still be “spectacular” even though it would not be taking place on Guy Fawkes night itself.
The re-arranged display will feature a huge show of pyrotechnics with up to 3,000 fireworks, along with a funfair, food and entertainment. Gates will open at 5pm, while the display itself will start at around 7.30pm.
Ms Docherty said: “We always aim to make the Glasgow fireworks display the safest and most spectacular way to enjoy Guy Fawkes night. This year we faced the prospect of having a major European football match held at the same time. For safety reasons we took the decision to move the fireworks to the 4th of November. The display promises something special for everyone.”
It is not the first time the city’s fireworks display has been rearranged to take account of a football match. In 2008, the show was held on 6 November to take account of possible congestion due to Celtic’s Champions League match against Manchester United the previous evening. It was also rescheduled in 2003 to take account of another Celtic home game.