- Title: Thousands watch Lyon light spectacle under high security
- Date: 9th December 2016
- Summary: PEOPLE GATHERED IN PLACE DES CELESTINS VARIOUS OF FOUNTAIN ILLUMINATED IN PLACE DES JACOBINS
- Embargoed: 24th December 2016 09:25
- Keywords: Lyon lights festival show security France Festival of Lights
- Location: LYON, FRANCE
- City: LYON, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA0045C5WFNR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands attended Lyon's famous Festival of Lights on Thursday (December 8) under high security after the show was cancelled last year following the November 13 Paris attacks.
The festival usually lasts for four days but this year will only run for three, and will be policed by 750 gendarmes, military and security personnel.
"It is going quite well. It's a calm, friendly atmosphere, like every year. The security and the security checks are normal," visitor Sophie, who comes to the festival every year, said.
For three days an air force drone will survey the centre of the city, relaying images to the police headquarters.
The town council has also chosen to restrict the event to the city centre this year -- in the Presqu'Ile area, between the Rhone and the Saone rivers -- and between Old Lyon and the ancient theatre of Fourviere. The Festival of Lights usually takes place in the nine districts of the city.
"It's a shame they restricted the show and that it's only in Presqu'ile (centre of Lyon) this year. There are only three shows, I think. For now, we've only seen two, but we were a little bit disappointed that there wasn't more," Marion, a student who lives in Lyon, told Reuters TV.
The Presqu'Ile area is accessible through 42 "entry points" and controlled by 200 private security personnel and the police.
Several roads and bridges are blocked with barriers and vehicles to avoid the risk of a repeat of the July 14 attack in Nice, where 86 people were killed by a truck driven through the crowds at an annual firework display.
"We have to live, unfortunately with this kind of apprehension. I hope not for too long but for now, that's where we are at," Bruno, a resident of the 4th arrondissement of Lyon said.
The Festival of Lights developed from a traditional festival where Lyon's citizens celebrate the Virgin Mary by putting a candle on their windows sills.
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