WEYMOUTH'S bonfire night celebrations went off with a bang last night as thousands turned out to enjoy the fun.

Crowds descended on the beach with sparklers and lights to watch all the action, while others had plenty of thrills on the funfair rides.

Before the main events kicked off, youngsters showcased their Fawkes creations in a Best 'Guy' competition at the Pavilion.

The judges - Mayor Kate Wheller, Widow Twanky from this years' Aladdin pantomime, and staff from Everyone Active and Wessex FM - chose Ethan Brown, 5, as the winner.

Ethan, a pupil at Wyke Regis Infants School, said: ''I'm very excited to win. I helped with my Guy's hair and the stuffing along with my mum, it was lots of hard work. I can't wait to play with my toys. I'm really excited about the fireworks later.''

Later in the evening, a giant bonfire was lit on the beach to the delight of the chilly crowd.

This was followed by a breathtaking multicoloured firework display which wowed the crowds.

Rachel Baterbee, 24, from Portland, brought her two young children to the event.

She said: ''We have been looking forward to it, there's usually lots going on. The fireworks are the best bit for us, there's normally quite a good display.''

Weymouth residents Jan and Paul Critchell, both 60, said: ''We have been to this event over many years. It's brilliant every year and it's a really good thing for the community. The fireworks are really good, and we like going to the sweet shop too.''