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Fireworks gala better than all the rest

PUBLISHED: 13:32 05 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

SIMPLY the Best! As Tina Turner's hit rang out at the end of the fireworks spectacular, her words really summed it all up.

More than 30,000 people of all ages, from toddlers to pensioners, went along to Christchurch Park, Ipswich, for the biggest firework display in East Anglia.

SIMPLY the Best! As Tina Turner's hit rang out at the end of the fireworks spectacular, her words really summed it all up.

More than 30,000 people of all ages, from toddlers to pensioners, went along to Christchurch Park, Ipswich, for the biggest firework display in East Anglia.

This was the 30th year of the big event, presented by 11th Ipswich Scouts in association with The Evening Star. To celebrate, the display was set to classic chart hits from the last three decades, from stars like Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams, Queen and Abba.

"We are very pleased with how it all went - the attendance seemed enormous," said David Savidge, one of the organisers from 11th Ipswich Scouts.

"It was very popular and will have raised tens of thousands of pounds for local charities."

The huge crowd gasped as the sky lit up with a dazzling array of colourful pyrotechnics, fired by Andrew Smiley and the team from Shell Shock.

"Now that's what I call fireworks!" shouted one excited youngster.

Altogether, £32,000-worth of fireworks went off with a bang – or, to be more precise, with lots of them. There were four to five explosions every second!

The whole event cost more than £100,000 to stage because of insurance and other associated costs.

Because of the wind direction, a decision was taken to take a short break in the middle of the display to allow the smoke to clear.

"We had over 200 volunteer helpers, and I'd like to thank them all for their hard work," said Mr Savidge.

Although the fireworks were definitely the main attraction, there was also plenty more to enjoy during a packed evening of entertainment for all the family.

The giant funfair was a big draw, and the SGR roadshow also proved popular, with live bands playing in the park. Radio Suffolk broadcast live from the event, and, as usual, there was a mix of food stalls selling all kinds of different delicacies.

Here's to the next 30 years!

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