Huge firework display announced for Great North Run celebrations

Event will celebrate the millionth runner to finish the Great North Run

Artist's impression of fireworks on the River Tyne as part of the Great North Run Millionth Opening Ceremony
Artist's impression of fireworks on the River Tyne as part of the Great North Run Millionth Opening Ceremony

One of the most spectacular fireworks displays ever seen on the River Tyne will be part of a giant celebration of the Great North Run later this year.

The half marathon will this year become the first mass participation race to have a million people complete it.

To mark the landmark, race organisers Nova are staging the Great North Run One Million Opening Ceremony event on the Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides which will bring together music, mass choreography, a huge light projection onto the side of the Sage Gateshead and storytelling based around the history of the North East written by acclaimed author David Almond.

Acts already confirmed for the event on September 4 - three days before this year’s Great North Run - include Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, Mercury Prize nominated folk band The Unthanks and dance band Chase and Status.

Now it has been announced that pyrotechnic firm Alchemy, which has lit up the skies over some of the UK’s most iconic venues, including Tower Bridge for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, will be putting on a massive firework display as part of the show.

The fireworks sequence will include large-scale fire sculpture, close proximity pyrotechnics and aerial fireworks in a variety of locations on the river, bridges, and on the Quayside.

Anyone who has ever taken part in the Great North Run, or who has a place in this year’s event, is eligibile for one of 10,000 free tickets for the event. People should apply to greatrun.org/ticket_giveaway before Friday.

For those not eligible for the free tickets, tickets are on sale for the event at www.gnrmillion.org priced at £12 for adults and £7 for children.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer