Sparks in the Park

A couple of days ago on November 6, Cardiff Wales had its 30th annual Sparks in the Park fireworks show. The show began as a community fundraiser, organized by its current organizers, the Cardiff Round Table, in 1981. Back then it was a lot smaller. The fireworks were stored in founder, John Griffin’s, garage and the fireworks themselves were partly assembled and set off by non-professionals. Safety and Health regulations were a lot more relaxed back then, and allowed them to get away with this. Professionals weren’t brought in to run the show until on of the men working on the fireworks (a dentist) almost burned his hands off! Today the show is run by a company called Pendragon. The first show attracted 30,000 local members from the community with no real advertising. The group members went door to door selling tickets until they had enough to buy the fireworks. The people of the community were so excited by the prospect of the show that they quickly and easily sold enough tickets to cover the cost. It wasn’t long before they realized that this would be a great way to raise money for local charities. The second year of the show, the wives of the group members showed up to run food stalls. Today, the fireworks are not the only attraction. Fairground rides, a bar, music, and food stalls will add to the spectacle. There will even be an earlier and quieter show for children before the bigger display. The only thing that hasn’t really changed about this event is that all profits go back to the community!

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