ORGANISERS of a fireworks event in the home city of Guy Fawkes have apologised for chaotic scenes which saw families leave before the display due to delays of nearly an hour.
Nearly 10,000 people descended on York Racecourse on Monday evening for the inaugural Gunpowder Plod, which featured a 5k run before the much-hyped firework display. It was staged seven years after the city had last witnessed a major Bonfire Night celebration on the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.
But the event was blighted by major delays and queues of up to an hour for food and drink with many families leaving before the fireworks display as their children had to get up the following morning for school. Hundreds of visitors are now calling for the organisers, Rat Race Adventure Sports, to provide refunds for tickets, which cost £14 for an adult. Despite the major problems, the company has pledged to stage the event next year.
The founder of Rat Race Adventure Sports, Jim Mee, confirmed the delays were caused by troublemakers who entered restricted areas where the fireworks had been set up. However, there were also major problems as many of the 1,500 runners were confronted with huge queues to register for the 5k race at the actual site.
Mr Mee said: ““We are deeply disappointed that there were delays with the run and firework display and that a number of families with young children decided to leave before the display started. As a knock-on effect of the firework delay, people took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat which then led to even further queuing at the catering outlets. Our experienced team manages over 20 successful large scale events each year and on this occasion a number of circumstances have occurred which have led to delays. There are lessons we have learned and will address for the future.”