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In Pictures: Dazzling display kicks off Great Exhibition Of The North

Drones and fireworks ensured the spectacle got off to a memorable start in front of 20,000 people.

The Great Exhibition Of The North got off to a spectacular start with an opening event around the River Tyne in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Drones and fireworks provided an aerial spectacle for an estimated 20,000 gathered on the quayside.

The Exhibition is intended to showcase the North and counter suggestions that it is in decline.

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Drones fly in formation to make a letter N with fireworks above the River Tyne (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Drones fly in formation to form a DNA strand (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Fireworks above the River Tyne (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Maximo Park perform before 20,000 people on a boat on the Tyne (Tom Wilkinson/PA)
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The event is an 80-day celebration of northern England, its scientific achievements and its art (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Street artists perform as an expected 20,000 people attend the launch of the Great Exhibition of the North (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Drones spell out the word great as the Exhibition gets under way (Danny Lawson/PA)
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About three million people are set to visit the festival in Newcastle and Gateshead (Danny Lawson/PA)
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The exhibition is a showcase for the North (Danny Lawson/PA)
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Tourism experts predict the event will bring £184 million into the North East economy (Danny Lawson/PA)

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