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Magnificent pyrotechnics display to launch Cowley Road Carnival (From The Oxford Times)

BOOMING fireworks and sparkling lights are set to take over the night’s sky hours before carnival fever erupts within the city.

The ‘jaw-dropping’ pyrotechnics show will explode under the darkness, bringing its technology-themed spectacle to life in South Park on Saturday.

The epic late-night display is set to launch annual extravaganza Cowley Road Carnival, filling the sky with beams of light before the summer festival hits East Oxford.

Johannah Aynsley, executive director of carnival organising team Cowley Road Works, said: “I am delighted and excited to be bringing this show to Oxford and although it is a late start, I would urge all families to get themselves and their relatives and friends down to South Park and enjoy this tremendous theatrical stage and light show.”

The outdoor explosion of light and special effects dubbed Colossus Awakes will see a giant 40ft robot steal the spotlight, coming to life during part one of the show starting at 9.30pm.

Revellers are expected to watch on in amazement as a mysterious laboratory is engineered in front of their eyes, before giant Colossus makes a star appearance.

Part two of the free show will then unfold during the carnival’s procession when hundreds will parade from The Plain roundabout and along Cowley Road from 12.30pm on Sunday.

Colossus Awakes, which has been produced by organisation Emergency Exit Arts, comes after carnival organisers were prized with a £90,000 grant to stage a series of art events last month.

Ms Aynsley said she was pleased the Arts Council England funding would allow communities to enjoy ‘diverse and exciting’ projects throughout the year.

She added: “When I pulled the funding application together I knew it was special and I am thrilled to bits that Arts Council England have supported it.

“We are very lucky to now be able to bring a series of projects ranging from awe inspiring outdoor spectacles, musical and theatrical performance, arts training, street arts, world class artists’ exhibitions and more to the people of Oxford.

“All of the work will underpin broader social impact projects and all will be free to access.”

Tens of thousands of merrymakers are expected to pour into the heart of East Oxford to enjoy the six-hour science and technology-themed carnival on Sunday.

Ms Aynsley urged residents to ‘pay a pound to keep carnival around’ and donate cash to festival stewards parading at the event from 11am until 5pm.

She added: “Unfortunately, the Arts Council Funding does not cover the costs of producing and facilitating the carnival and this is an amount close to £150,000 that we have to work all year to fundraise to make this brilliant event happen.”


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