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Fireworks at Blandford's Yuletide Festival will be safe
THE organisers of a Christmas Festival have pledged a safe return – a year after several people including a child were injured by fireworks.
Around five people were injured when rockets shot into the crowd during the Blandford Yuletide Festival last December.
The organisers have announced the festival will return on Wednesday, December, 12, and will feature “the highest levels of safety”.
The festival released a statement which said: “Fireworks for the 2012 event are being organised by Firework Solutions, a commercial company based in Wimborne.
“The organisers are working closely with North Dorset District Council staff to ensure the highest levels of safety are maintained throughout the festival.”
Brewer Hall & Woodhouse is the main sponsor and the festival will take place in the roads surrounding the Market Place from 6pm to 9pm.
There will be road closures in the town from 4pm to 10pm.
The chairman of Hall & Woodhouse, Mark Woodhouse, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the Yuletide Festival again in 2012 and are looking forward to being a part of another enjoyable and exciting evening.”
But Blandford mum of three Abbey Withers, whose pushchair was burned and whose one-year-old daughter Cara, then aged one, was struck in the face, will not be there.
She said: “I won’t be attending because of what happened last year.
“They say it will be safe every year.
“Then, to find out that fireworks were tied with ropes to scaffolding near somebody’s flats – that doesn’t reassure me.”
The festival attracts around 4,000 people to the market place.
An investigation said fireworks placed on a scaffolding tower at the rear of the Corn Exchange were accidentally placed sideways.
Organisers blamed “ambiguous” instructions.
Most of the rockets went straight into a wall, according to Dorset Police, but five or six flew into a crowd of spectators.
Around four people were treated at the scene for minor burns and eye injuries.