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UK City of Culture: Hull launch night draws crowd of 60,000

We Are Hull projections Image copyright PA
Image caption The light show told the story of Hull over the past 100 years

About 60,000 people came out in Hull to watch a fireworks display and light show to mark the start of the city's year as UK Capital of Culture.

Organisers of the event think tens of thousands more watched the spectacle from viewpoints across the north and south bank on Sunday evening.

Crowds gathered in Queen Victoria Square to watch video projections on City Hall and surrounding buildings.

The films explored Hull's history, from the Blitz to sporting triumphs.

The fireworks were due to start at 20:17, but were delayed by about five minutes.

The Hull City of Culture team said the delay was to allow extra time for those with tickets to get on to the marina.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

The fireworks display was billed as being bigger than London's New Year's Eve event, and was called In With A Bang.

It included 15,000 fireworks and was accompanied by music from some of the city's most famous musical exports.

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Hull is the second city to be given UK City Culture status, following Derry-Londonderry in 2013.

People at the event told the BBC everyone enjoyed the spectacular evening.

One visitor said: "It was like being in a completely different city, a foreign city. Everyone is in really great spirits."

Another added: "It was just amazing, all the music that went with it. I am so happy for Hull and I hope it is a really good beginning for us."

Martin Green, chief executive of City of Culture, said: "It feels great. When you're in my game, you love the planning bit, but you love the moment when you start the show.

"I know the team here who have worked so hard for that as well, and the city council have planned so hard and got this stage ready for us.

"It's always great to take up the curtain and open."

The reaction on Twitter was mostly a positive one for Hull too, with user Mr Hill - @ljhill85 - tweeting: "Blown away by art instillation in Hull City Centre #Hull2017 #cityofculture2017 #Hull #Cities #art"

Andy Moore, tweeting as @RedAndy13, said: "It must really be hurting all the #hull haters out there right now, you guys are drowning in a sea of positivity about @2017Hull #HullsReady"

And Nancy Birtwhistle (@nancybakes) Great British Bake Off winner in 2014 and Hull resident, tweeted: "Back home - watched fabulous fireworks from Goxhill bank. So proud to be Hull born and bred ! @bbcburnsy #Hull2017 #MadeInHull @AuntieMongo".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright PA

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