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Lord Mayor’s fireworks reinstated but Thames Festival cancels pyrotechnics

London SE1 website team

The City of London is to reinstate the traditional fireworks display on the River Thames on Lord Mayor's Show day after last year's controversial decision to axe the pyrotechnics.

Fireworks will once again explode over the River Thames this November as the fireworks display which marks the end of the Lord Mayor's Show is reinstated.

The display has been held nearly every year for three and a half decades but did not take place in 2012 due to financial constraints and concerns over crowd safety.

However the lack of fireworks led to a fall in number of spectators at the daytime parade and the decision also attracted adverse publicity for the Square Mile's local authority.

This week the City of London Corporation's policy and resources committee is expected to agree a proposal to hold the fireworks display in 2013 and 2014.

2014 will be the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor's Show.

The City corporation says that the display will cost 21,500 whilst the associated health and safety measures will cost more than three times that amount, bringing the total bill to 93,000.

Although the display is organised by the City of London Corporation, many of the spectators gather on the banks of the Thames in Lambeth and Southwark so cross-borough liaison is required.

This year's show will be held on Saturday 9 November.

News of the return of the Lord Mayor's Show fireworks display to the London calendar comes as The Mayor's Thames Festival announces a change of format, with the familiar weekend event becoming a more low-key 10-day festival.

One of the casualties of the change is the annual September fireworks display on the Thames. Last year the show marked the finale of the Olympic and Paralympic games in London and received extra funding from the Mayor.

A note on the festival website says: "The challenging financial environment combined with escalating production costs have affected the festival in that some of the programme strands nurtured to date, notably the various music and dance stages, the Night Carnival and the Fireworks Finale can no longer be afforded, and no longer fit within the festival's changing identity."

Both the Mayor's Thames Festival and the Lord Mayor's Show release their fireworks from a barge moored mid-way between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.

It is not yet clear how Transport for London's plans for a new 'garden bridge' across the Thames at that location will affect the future of river-based fireworks displays.

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