Sparks in the Park
The event takes place in Cooper's Field in Bute Park, behind Cardiff Castle. It has been running each year since 1981, and has become the biggest regular annual fireworks display in Wales, and one of the biggest in the UK, attracting around 20,000 people.
The event is organised by local charitable and social networking group Cardiff Round Table, one of the largest branches in the UK of Round Table (club). It is a non profit event- all proceeds are distributed to charity, primarily in and around the Cardiff area. Charities to have benefited from monies raised during Sparks in the Park 2009 include the Christian Lewis Trust, the Sequal Trust, Vitalise, CLIC Sargent, Round Table Children's Wish, Barnardo's Cymru and Hospital Radio Glamorgan.
Prior to 2009, the event had been held for several years in Blackweir Field, at the north end of Bute Park, further away from the city centre. This was because of concerns that Cardiff Council had about the potential damage to Cooper's Field. Improvements made to drainage and access on the site have made it possible for the event to move back. Various other events have also been held in the field in 2010, such as a concert by Florence and the Machine and Cardiff Mardi Gras.
The largest amount ever raised for charity by Sparks in the Park was £46,000 in 2010.
Turnout at the 2009 event was estimated by organisers to have increased by 15% compared to the previous year. Attractions included fairground rides, a beer tent and food stalls, and a stage run by Red Dragon FM. In 2009, £5,000 of the proceeds were distributed in the Round Table Echo Sparklers campaign, run in conjunction with local newspaper the South Wales Echo.
Sparks in the Park 2010 was the biggest event to date, with nearly a 50% increase in turnout compared to 2009. In terms of the amount of money raised for charity, this was the most successful event in its 30 year history with £46,000 raised.
More than 20,000 fireworks travelling 100 ft per second were shot up to 1,000 ft into the air. In addition, the 2010 event saw the introduction before the main fireworks of a special children's firework display.
Sparks in the Park 2010 was again supported by Cardiff Council and by Red Dragon FM, who provided music and event hosts Kam Kelly and Sally Bailey from Red Dragon's flagship "Kam and Sally at Breakfast" show. The main sponsors of Sparks in the Park 2010 were Admiral Insurance.
Sparks in the Park 2011 was slightly scaled back compared to Sparks 2010, after Cardiff Council slightly reduced the size of the part of the field made available for spectators and imposed a strict 15,000 limit for the number of people allowed on Cooper's Field. This resulted in a slightly lesser amount being raised for charity. It also resulted for the first time ever in the event selling out, with an estimated 1,000 people not being able to make it into the field and having to watch from the outside through the trees.
Sparks 2011 featured a new jumbo 40m2 screen and entertainment, as well as the usual fairground, food and drink stalls, bonfire and of course the fireworks. 2011 saw the return of the children's firework display before the main display aimed for families with younger children.
Sparks in the Park 2011 was again supported by Cardiff Council and by Capital Radio, who provided music, video and event hosts Kam Kelly and Sally Bailey from Capital FM's flagship "Kam and Sally at Breakfast" show. The main sponsors of Sparks in the Park 2011 were George Wimpey.
Sparks in the Park 2012 promises to be another great event, again with a jumbo screen, fairground, food and drink stalls, bonfire and extra children's firework display before the main display