A RIOT of colour transforms the York skyline - as a memorable day for the Jorvik Viking Festival ends with a blistering bang.

Fireworks lit up the city on Saturday after crowds braved icy winds to watch the re-enactment of a bloody Viking battle at the Eye of York.

On a night when temperatures would have chilled the bones of the most ferocious and bloodthirsty Scandinavian invader, hundreds wrapped up warm and enjoyed a thrilling display of rockets and bangers.

A burning model dragon boat captivated crowds, before a string of rockets were launched from York Castle.

The fireworks - the first to be held in the Clifford's Tower area for several years - brought the curtain down on an action-packed day in the middle of the 20th anniversary festival.

Nordic warriors sailed into York in longboats on Saturday morning, before two key battles - Stamford Bridge and the Rout to Riccall - were theatrically recreated.

The ten-minute fireworks display was only seen by ticket holders. It was not widely-publicised amid fears thousands could flock to the event, and potentially recreate crowd management problems last seen when tens of thousands turned up to previous Bonfire Night events at the site.

The festival runs until Sunday.

Updated: 09:57 Monday, February 14, 2005