Firework finale as wheel bows out
FESTIVE fireworks will mark the last turn of the Riviera Wheel in Torquay.
But operators and tourism bosses alike are hoping the English Riviera Observation Wheel will be back.
After the success of its first season towering over the Pavilion and lighting up the town's night skies, negotiations are under way for the wheel to come back next year.
To mark their final day and say thank you to their supporters, operators Mellors Group will be holding a free firework display on Sunday at 6pm before heading off for a Christmas season in London.
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The fireworks will be launched from Haldon Pier, Torquay Harbour, and spectators can watch the display from the wheel and Princess Gardens area.
Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver said: "I'd like to thank the Mellors Group for providing the free display. We have really enjoyed hosting the wheel. It has proved extremely popular and a wonderful addition to the many fantastic attractions the Bay has to offer. It is now moving to London, but we are liaising closely with Mellors Group about the prospect of the wheel's return next year. This would, of course, still be subject to the planning process."
Director James Mellors said: "We would like to say a big thank you to the people of Torbay. We've really enjoyed our stay here. Everyone has made us feel very welcome. Somebody did a drawing of the wheel with a wheelclamp on it because people really love it. We have never had such good feedback. Everywhere we have been people have wanted the wheel to stay. But here we have had people taking the time to write to head office thanking us.
"We have other commitments at the moment, but we are having talks with the Mayor and the council about maybe returning next year. It's not definite at the moment."
He said the wheel is due in Hyde Park until January.
Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company, said: "With such breathtaking views and a spectacular location, the English Riviera Wheel has already become a really welcome addition to the many attractions the Bay has to offer. We look forward to celebrating with them on the evening and hopefully welcoming the wheel back in 2013."